Hang On and Pretend It’s a Plan

Last year, I didn’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I chose to take incremental steps to change my practices. I set out to play more, write more, and move more. In retrospect, I made progress in all three areas.

This year, I know better than to make resolutions, or even to make much in the way of plans.

By choosing to move, I have invited a world of change and I do not know how things will shape up. The new house will inevitably take more work than I have estimated. The new environment will surely require modification of my routines. I cannot predict how much the transition will upset the children or the cats, but I will have to deal with whatever arises. And then, once we have adjusted to the new house somewhat, most, if not all, of the kids will change schools after the summer.

TARDIS and keys

I can go anywhere I want in time or space. Can you?

Watching this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special, The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe, I was struck by a single line of dialogue. When asked by his companion what to do next as they whooshed through the time vortex in an alien escape pod, the Doctor advised, “Do what I do: hang on and pretend it’s a plan.”

And it struck me.

That is exactly what I need to do in 2012: hang on and pretend it’s a plan.

Last year taught me that I can make all the plans I want, but without the flexibility to drop or modify them, I will be courting trouble. This year, although I have directions I would like to go, setting specific goals feels like setting myself up to fail. But, and this is a big issue, I like to feel in control – and that’s where the “pretend it’s a plan” part is so brilliant. If I pretend it’s a plan, I might not freak out so much when I feel out of control.

Or maybe not. I won’t know until I get through the time vortex.

What star is this? From whence?

In the meantime, I found a guiding star.

Inspired by Christine Kane’s Resolution Revolution post (December, 2007), I have chosen a word to be a touchstone for the coming year, a word that will serve as grounding image, inspirational guide, and ongoing challenge, a word I hope will give me a stable focus and flexibility in the face of changing external environments.

My word for 2012 is ease.

I am aiming to ease my way through 2012, hanging on through the changes that are coming my way, and pretending it’s a plan if I start freaking out about my lack of control of outcomes.

Or at least, that’s the plan intention…

I’m heading into 2012 with a motto and a word.

Check back here in a year and we’ll see how it went.


About Kate Arms-Roberts


Posted on January 6, 2012, in Daily Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I love this post, Kate. First of all, I feel I need a word for the year; I’d steal “ease,” it’s a good one, but I need to come up with my own. I’m going to instruct my subconscious to come up with one.

    I love the Dr. Who line. (My teenage daughter is obsessed with that show, and I respect her taste, so I should probably check it out.) The nice thing about it is that if you do hang in there this year, you get to define that as success in achieving your “plan”!

    I know you’re going to have a great 2012.

    • Kate Arms-Roberts

      I’m sure your subconsious will find you an appropriate word of your own.

      Dr. Who in its current incarnation is a thinking person’s escapism. I highly recommend checking it out – if only to understand your daughter better. As you can guess from the newly added picture of my car keys, I am definitely a fan.


  2. I must have that Tardis keychain!! That’s awesome! And, also, yours is the third blog I’ve read in the last week in which the blogger has chosen a “word” for the year. I really like this idea but I’m such a wordy person I don’t know if I could ever narrow my choices down to one word! I’ll have to give it some thought. 🙂

    • Kate Arms-Roberts

      I had seen a couple of people talking about choosing a word for the year before I read Christine Kane’s post. I didn’t expect a single word to make any sense for me, but “ease” just came to me as I was scanning her list of suggestions. Upon reflection, it has many levels of meaning for me and many levels at which it could inspire and nudge me, so it makes sense, but it actually arrived as a moment of inspiration.

      This is actually my second TARDIS key fob. Both were gifts from my husband, the second arriving after the first went off on some wild adventure without me. I’m sure she went where she was needed.

      May 2012 be a good year.

  3. I love the idea of “pretend it’s a plan.” (Have never seen an episode of Dr. Who, BTW) Maybe if I continue with my word of the year (grateful) and “pretend it’s a plan,” then 2012 will be calmer than the previous three.
    Good plan. 🙂

  4. That was my favorite line from the “Doctor Who Christmas Special!” We seem to be on the same (or at least similar) page when it comes to making resolutions. I am about to officially follow you solely based on your Doctor Who key chain fob and your description of the more recent incarnation of “Doctor Who.” (Okay, and also because we will both be contributing to Christine’s blog) I have been able to bring two out of three of my kids into Doctor Who fandom — my almost 21-year-old introduced the series to her boyfriend, who is enjoying it. My almost 11-year old recently caught up with the entire series a few days ago and is now waiting in eager anticipation for Fall (!) 2012 when the series returns.

    • Kate Arms-Roberts

      My 8-year old has just started watching Dr. Who. We had him watching the Sarah Jane Adventures before that. I love that the series has been around so long that I can talk to him about watching the show when I was a kid.

      I’m excited to be a part of Christine’s reboot of her blog. I’ve been looking for a space to write about giftedness. I look forward to connecting with you and all the others she has lined up.


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