Do I Have Trouble Planning for the Future?

Do I Have Trouble Planning for the Future?

Editor’s note: “Path Unknown” is a new CF News Today column written by Wendy Caroline each Monday.

My clinic used to hand out questionnaires at check-ins to see how patients were doing. I always chuckled to myself when I came across the question, “Do you have trouble planning for the future?” It was funny because I always thought that even if my life didn’t follow the exact path that I set out to follow, I’d figure it out. I can still have a plan and adjust along the way. A lot of life’s pieces already are planned out for you when you’re young: Do good in school, make friends, stay healthy, go to college, and get a career. See? Simple.

So, I’d show up to the clinic, check the “No” box, and blissfully continue with my life. I’d go to school the next day, laugh with my friends, and never give it another thought. Three months later, I’d show up to the clinic, check the “No” box, and blissfully continue with my life. Rinse and repeat.

Fast-forward to college. There I was, doing the college thing. I moved into my dorm, had my major and minor picked out, and settled into college life pretty seamlessly. Sure, there were bumps along the road — I had to go part-time for a couple of semesters and even take a semester off — but I did it. I got my college diploma. I figured it out.

I’d show up to the clinic and stare at “Do you have trouble planning for the future?” Then, I’d hesitate and eventually check “No.” The next day, I’d go to work, laugh with my coworkers, and never give it another thought. Once I fully transitioned to the adult clinic, they had different methods of checking up on my health. So, I didn’t have to answer that question anymore. It actually wasn’t until this past year that I started thinking about it again.

I don’t know exactly when it happened, but I had stopped planning for the future. Not like I thought I was going to die or anything, but rather that I didn’t know what my life was going to look like in five years, let alone one. Were we going to move once my partner finished college? How long was I planning to work full-time? These are the types of questions that I decided were for future Wendy to deal with. I was having trouble planning for my future.

Ultimately, I figured it out. The big change is that I would check “Yes” if I had to take that questionnaire again and face the question, “Do you have trouble planning for the future?” However, I have learned to be OK with not knowing what my future is going to look like. My path is unknown, but it makes each day that much more of an adventure.

See where my path winds at The Living, Breathing Wendy.

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Note: Cystic Fibrosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cystic Fibrosis News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cystic fibrosis.

2 comments

  1. Rick says:

    Hi Wendy,
    I’m currently struggling with being “OK” on the future planning thing. I too once checked the “no” box when I was younger. As I grew older I started to hesitate and now would check “yes”. I’m debating on going back to college for a bachelor’s degree but this will take longer as I will need at least a year of pre-reqs. Also, I will have to wait another year for my spouse to finish the degree she’s currently working towards. I’m just fearful that I won’t be able to finish due to illness and it will be wasted time that could be spent with my daughter. Ya know the occasional CF attitude towards long term stuff. Do you have any advice on how to approach this goal and overcome the fears of planning for the future?

    • Wendy Caroline says:

      Hi Rick,
      Sorry for missing this! The advice that I follow for my own life is to just take each and every day as they come. I have to take future planning with a grain of salt, so to speak. 😉 For example, my future plan was to graduate college. I did it in six years, not the typical four because of CF. So, I didn’t plan out how or when I would graduate college, but rather that I was going to do it. My future plans tend to be broad and come with the understanding that things change. My advice to you is to just be positive, confident, and flexible. Hope that helps and I wish you the best of luck!
      ~Wendy

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