July Ultimate Blog Challenge – Day Three
“I don’t know”, said the butterfly

July Ultimate Blog Challenge – Day Three

I know where I have been, but do I know where I am going? If the rest of my life is anything like the days already past, then the answer is ‘No! I have no idea where I’m going’. Day Three of the July Ultimate Blog Challenge is about where my blog is heading. This has nothing to do with being philosophical, and everything to do with the topic of the day.

I have lived my life on a whim – not a plan

Impulsive? Yes. Forward planning? No. The only thing I consciously planned in my life was my career. I knew what I wanted to do, and I did it, albeit a little later than I could, or should have. But, in the great scheme of things, it all happened in a timely manner.

In the words of John Lennon, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.  And that sums up my life – in reverse. “Life is what happened to me while I was busy avoiding plans”. Not consciously, of course, but as a consequence of my drifting nature. Like a butterfly, I flitted from one thing to the next. If someone was going somewhere, I tagged along. Since I didn’t have any plans of my own, it was easy to attach myself to the plans of someone else.

I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I had made plans? If I equate making plans with stability, then I’d still be in my home-town, surrounded by the people I grew up with. I wouldn’t have lived interstate or across the world. And I wouldn’t have twenty-thousand photos and two-hundred videos on my iPad! Each photo takes me back to another time and place. I remember the day and the time, but more importantly, I remember the feeling of standing in front of the Taj Mahal, or meeting the fabulous staff at the RedWing Cafe in Seattle.

From Stanley Park in Vancouver to the Taj Mahal in India

Lack of planning took me from my hometown on the Hawkesbury River, to iconic landmarks across the world. Walks through Stanley Park on a Sunday afternoon; standing in front of the Taj Mahal; posing for a selfie in Shanghai; sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco; standing next to the Statue of Liberty. I lived on Penang Island Malaysia and in North America. None of the moves were part of any long-term planning on my part. They just happened.



Even my retirement, two years ago, just happened. While not having any set-in-concrete plans about when I would hang up the chalk for the last time, I thought it would be years from now – there were certainly no immediate plans. And then, I decided one day that the time had come. As usual, I just did it. I went from working long, long hours – to nothing. No transition, no slowing down, just an abrupt end. And in true butterfly style, I marked the occasion with a spur of the moment, two-week cruise to Singapore. Would you have expected anything less?

The End of the Road

My only concession to forward-planning was to buy a unit to retire in. At some time prior to my official retirement, I looked back on my nomadic lifestyle, and had a fleeting need for stability. In that moment of normality, I wanted to move one more time – and stay there. No more packing and unpacking. I would find a place for everything, and everything would be in its place. Well, maybe that was wishful thinking, but I’m sure you know what I mean. I wanted to set up a home and be happy to be home.



And that’s where I was when the reality of retirement hit me. This is it! No more early mornings and late nights; Or Mondays, or staff meetings. No more looking out on Thursday mornings to see if I could see the weekend coming over the horizon. Every day was now a weekend.

Suddenly I was faced with the void, the emptiness, the ‘what will I do now?’.  The website I had played around with a few years earlier, suddenly emerged as a life-line. Learning had always been a big part of my life, and getting my website up and running would take a lot of learning. I started going to WordPress WordCamps and Meetups to learn more. It was a slow process. I thought I had kept up with technology over my long teaching career, but this was a whole new ball game.

So what do you do with a website?

You blog!

My nomadic, butterfly past will provide an endless supply of content, and those twenty-thousand photos will find a home. Planning still isn’t a part of my vocabulary, but if I look back at how my life has turned out, I’m not worried. The butterfly approach has served me well and I trust will continue to do so. Technology changes constantly. As I flit from one thing to another, learning as I go, my website and blog will evolve. I would like to think my lack of planning will give me the flexibility to change as often as the technology that I am dabbling in.

I’m excited about where my website and blog could end up. Who knows, they might be destined for great things that haven’t been invented yet.

Day Three of the July Ultimate Blog Challenge has challenged my thinking, but not my lifestyle. The butterfly approach is alive and well and will carry my blog forward, ultimately reaching its final resting place when there is nowhere else for it to go.

Only then will I know where it is heading.

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