Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Plans, and the Planning Planners who Plan Them

Note, by "planners" I am not discussing printed/written systems for tracking your days, although I certainly could because I love me some notebooks and systems and checkboxes, oh my. 

Nope. I'm talking about thinking ahead with confidence. Enough confidence to imagine doing something in the future. 

That's pretty small. But it's significant. As small things often are. 

Last year at this time, I was planning to participate in an event that eventually got cancelled. We get a mulligan (*sports term: "do-over" for us non-athletes) this year. 

The event: The Creative Nonfiction Collective's annual conference, mid-May. (You can look at a schedule at the link.) This year, it'll be online. Previous years' experiences have been well worth the conference fees, and that was back when I had to pay for travel and share a washroom with strangers. 

I'll be presenting about mentorship with Susan Olding, whose guidance is largely responsible for the existence of my essay collection. I'm sure I'll have more to say about the presentation and discussion in the future. 

For now, probably because we are approaching the anniversaries of everyone's "here's how I knew it was serious" stories about the pandemic, I'm just taking it easy. (Side note: Although I'm aware that "How was the pandemic for you?" will be an easy small-talk fallback, I am not looking forward to using it.) 

It's nice to be able to plan something that will happen in about ten weeks' time.

Planning feels hopeful, rather like sending out an essay or poem or short story or grant application--the act of sending it out is an act of hope: "I made this." Like that clip at the end of episodes of The X-Files

It's a way to say, "I am investing in myself, in the future, in the value of creativity." It shows my confidence that I will continue to be healthy between now and then. That people may still wrangle over politics, but I don't have to actively participate (though I will always keep an eye on actions I can take). And who knows, governments may still topple, but only according to the rules. 

Hopeful as crocus shoots poking up through snow. Which won't happen here for some time, but I remember them, and daffodils and hyacinth, fondly from my earlier life further south. 

All the (welcomed and appropriate) grey-zone lockdowns in the world can't destroy my confidence that spring will return, eventually.

I've missed that confidence. I'm glad it's back.