Five year plans

Oct 29, 2005

Early in our time on Paama, Erin and I took a walk on a Saturday, looking to follow the path to the top of the island. All the villagers and their children were already up in their hillside gardens, and there was no one to guide us. One mango tree looked like another, and soon we were lost, so we sat down on a large boulder and talked about the future.

“What do you want to accomplish in the next 2, 5 and 10 years?“ we asked each other. I took out a notebook and pen and recorded our answers.

Erin told me she wanted to stay healthy in Vanuatu, then earn a masters degree in public health, start a family and take our family overseas again.

I told Erin I wanted to travel as much as possible in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, then return to my career as a writer; I wanted to write a book within five years, and become an editor of a national magazine within 10.

So far, we’ve accomplished quite a lot that was on those original lists: we circumnavigated the planet, Erin has her MPH, we have two darling daughters, I published a book (close enough to writing my own) and I’ve gotten further training in medical journalism.

As I wrote on Justin’s blog once before, I have a distinct vision for my life and career:

I see my life as a river crossing, with my career/life goal set on the far riverbank, and many stepping stones in the river. At times I step to a stone that puts me closer to the riverbank; other steps are lateral. This philosophy combines two lessons my parents taught me – to have a goal, and to make the most of any situation.

At Erin’s recent urging, I’ve updated my goals and listed them into 1-, 5- and 10-year plans. See a link on that page to a writeboard where you can suggest additional goals for me (you’ll need to use the password ‘calvin40sophia’).

Anton Zuiker

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