Planning Dad’s Retirement Party Made Me Think About…

Cheers to Dad

So I know I was a party planner in my previous life. I love it so much, but would never pursue it as an actual career. I imagine it’d drive me too insane at some point.

But never say never!

My mom, siblings, and I threw my Dad a surprise retirement party in Hawaii with his close coworkers/friends in attendance. He worked in the life insurance field for the last 48 years and I’m happy he finally made the decision to retire! I could slowly see that the older he got, the more stressed out he was getting on top of a few health issues.

My Dad has always been a hard worker – from starting out as a sales agent selling door to door or what my Dad refers to as being a “lonely salesman” to making his way up top as Senior VP & Chief Marketing Officer.

Business usually came first, but it was all for his family. Everything I’ve been gratefully gifted with since the beginning of my life, including not needing any student loans (what a relief), is because of him and I can’t thank him enough!

Planning Dad's Retirement Party Made Me Think About2...

He’s also the wisest and funniest person I know. In between work, he’d make us all laugh with his random jokes and exaggerated expressions as well as teach us to choose our battles wisely, be okay to make sacrifices, and give back to others in any way possible. I hope to forever learn from his work ethic, self-confidence, and way of looking at life as a funny adventure.

Such a well-deserved retirement… he just needs a hobby now!

My Definition of Planning

Okay, so I’m what people call a “Planner.” My family calls me the “manager.” I’m for sure not the spontaneous type.

Planning Dad's Retirement Party Made Me Think About... - Living After Surviving

There is something about planning that I really enjoy. This includes planning travel itineraries or just a regular Saturday! I love making various lists of things to do, see, get, or eat! I like to research and picture in my mind all the details coming together to make a hell of a good party or event (no matter how big or small).

Maybe it’s the perfection and the “knowing” in planning that attracts me – what’s going to happen and preparing for it so there are no forgetful incidents or mistakes when the event actually happens.

Then feeling amazing afterwards that the dots connected and it all went smooth because it was well thought out beforehand, and I can check it off my list as DONE! Like I accomplished something masterful at the end of the day and I can go to sleep peacefully.

It’s silly, I know. I like this about me and I don’t like this about me.

I like the fact that I can come up with a great plan for others and myself; to be sure we all have a good time or discover something new and fun. And that I have found the best of the best that there is to see or eat, etc.

Attention to detail is my favorite because there’s a challenge or almost a scavenger hunt in it, if you really think about it. Like I feel some sort of pride to have thought of the idea or ideas as if I found the golden egg.

But I don’t like the fact that planning is basically the same thing as saying controlling (or I’m being too controlling, hehe) and there’s no letting it just happen, if you know what I mean.

Letting things happen organically work just as best if not better than planning. It can avoid over-planning as well, which can cause chaos and mental breakdowns, if you take it too seriously like me!

It goes back to me making sure I cover all my bases and not being hidden in the UNKNOWN, because that scares me. Are you the same way?

Planning Can Have a Dark Side

Planning has a fine line. Because no matter how planned out you are, with parties or life in general, you really have no idea what can really happen.

But being open to whatever comes, good or bad, and thinking everything will work itself out eventually, or more importantly that whatever does happen and you survive it, everything will always be okay… THIS has been my new foundation since the accident.

You can imagine my surprise when the accident suddenly fell into my world like a ton of filthy bricks. NO WAY was I prepared for the turn of events that would impact the rest of my life. The night of the car accident, I planned on having a fun night out with my friends. But no, it got REAL DARK. REAL FAST.

It wasn’t easy and quick to assess right away, but I’m so glad the unexpected happened to me. I wouldn’t have gained all the physical and mental strength I have now, I wouldn’t have loved harder and appreciated more in the world than I do now, and I wouldn’t have lived life honestly with the deep fact that it can one day just be gone.

Hey don’t be fooled, I still plan or have a semi plan all the time, but there’s a pinned up note in my brain now, pinned strong as ever, that anything can happen and things can still go wrong.

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This isn’t me playing the role of negative Nancy. This is me being true to what life brings and ironically, being “prepared” for that.

So with that said, it’s about finding that right amount of planning and just going with the flow that makes LIVING AFTER SURVIVING pretty darn effortless and enjoyable.

And it’s heroic in a way. Believe me on this.

xo, CHU

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