We must be willing to let go of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. ~ Joseph Campbell
Has anyone ever had their plans go awry? I don’t mean plans where you’re supposed to meet a friend for dinner and your car won’t start. I’m speaking of an entire life taking a sharp turn onto a completely foreign road.
It happened to me. I had my life all planned out. I got married a little young, but decided to wait seven years to have children. I’d work full time until we had our first child at age 30, then our second at age 33. I’d stay home with our children and work on a writing career. We’d live near both of our parents so our kids would have their grandparents in their lives. We’d gather for holidays and special occasions with our siblings so our kids could celebrate with cousins. We’d take turns at each others homes, and we’d cook big feasts … the same way it was for me as a kid.
HA! The gods were laughing while I set all of these plans in stone … breakable stone.
Here is what really happened … we live 1,200 miles away from family, we were unable to have children, and we rarely hear from any of our siblings. (The miles are no excuse with technology today. And please don’t ask about adoption, that’s a topic for an entirely different blog. If you’d like to know a little more about my infertility journey, I shared it here. I’m not shy or private about it. I like to be open on the topic for others out there who might feel alone.)
Guess what? I’m confident my life is where it’s supposed to be, and I am fulfilled. I love my life. I love my home. I love my husband. I love my dog(s). I’m so grateful to have my humble abode that keeps me cool in Florida (God knows why they built this thing with a fireplace). I’m grateful for my small fenced yard. I don’t travel much, but I feel like I’m still on an adventure of sorts.
I’ve got the world on my lap with the internet, and I can’t express how grateful I am for that one. I used to hate doing research for school and for writing before this cyberspace-thing existed, and now it’s easy.
Many people might find my life mundane, but on an evening when I’m snuggled up against my honey, with our dog lying at our feet, I’m blissful!
I’m grateful to have two vehicles that are not the newest out there, but they get us where we need to go.
I’m grateful to have enough food to keep us sustained. I’m grateful for the hands to cook it with, and for the taste buds to enjoy my delectable creations.
I’m grateful for my fingers that are typing right now.
I’m not always healthy, but it makes me more appreciative for when I’m feeling well.
I’m not going to deny that sometimes I miss having a family like the one I had growing up, but that’s natural. On occasion, I’m sure many people miss their childhood, and those with grown children miss the early days too. It happens, then it passes. I am grateful for the cherished memories of the family I had as a child (shared in my book anthology).
From time to time you may read a complaint on my blog about living in Florida, but I know that despite battling the heat and hurricanes, I’ve got it good.
I’m grateful for my legs that take me on our evening walks with the dog. I’m grateful to be able to soak in the sweet scent of jasmine along the way.
I’m grateful for my eyesight that catches a glorious sunset before we head home from our stroll.
I’m grateful to talk to people all across the globe on my blog. I’m grateful for all of you who are reading this now. May you be blessed with your own fulfilling path.
(To use any photos on this page, please attribute Lori and this blog)
20 thoughts on “Best Laid Plans”
Your two photos are stunning …. glad that you can share you walks with me and your thoughts. Yes, we are suppose to be thankful for nearly everything we have and are – but sometimes is it not that easy to be grateful .. life is also unfair too many times.
Yep, I know life can be unfair. Sometimes I get really sad because we don’t have a family, especially around the holidays. I acknowledge my feelings, give myself some time to feel them, and then try to focus on my blessings. Thanks for taking the time to comment while on your trip, Viveka.
I struggle with this. I think I have to at least set my course, otherwise, where will I be? Having been so laissez-faire for so long, and getting such laissez-faire results is my evidence.
Yet, absolute control is not the answer. So does it have to be one or the other, or is there a balance? (And by the way that’s not a rhetorical question.)
Funny you should bring this up, Nick. I just finished writing a blog draft about what a control-freak I am. Heh. And guess what? I’m a Libra, which means I can’t function without balance. So, to answer your question, yes I do think there’s a balance we can reach. In my upcoming drafted post, I share how I read a book once that said to state your intentions, and then leave the rest up to the universe. IOW, make plans but then go with the flow. Which is what I think I’ve now (finally) done with this life I hadn’t planned. Anyway, don’t know if it makes any sense, but there ya go. 🙂
I totally relate to your story. I too am exactly where I am meant to be and never expected life to take me. what a great ride. looking forward to hearing more of your story as we move along. beth
Beth, Thank you so much for reading about my unexpected life, and for your kind comments. So great to have you here.
Another great post, Lori! Beautifully written and touching hearts and lives. Thank you!
I am humbled, Mirjam. Thank you for taking the time to read it, and for your kind words.
I love this post! People with perfect plans, perfect lives… we’ll I just don’t get them. I do get & admire people who are grateful for what they have right here right now. I never planned anything much – made it up as I went along, and just as well or maybe because, much of my live has been less than straightforward. When I do plan, it’s always with the understanding, made famous by John Lennon “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” When the G.O & I discuss possibilities for the future we usually preamble it with “this is just conversation…”.
Hey EllaDee, I’m somewhat of a control freak, so I’ve always planned out my life. Although, I wasn’t sure that I even wanted kids for a while, then when I did, it didn’t happen. It’s all good anyway. The universes is teaching me that it’s okay to make plans, but then to go with the flow. Thanks for reading, and for your wonderful comment.
I’m in one of those places now, Lori: a cross-road with no idea which way to go. My map is faded, the compass gone loony. So, I wait and listen for guidance. And I’m grateful to know that’s what I need to do now. xoxoM
It’s tough when we don’t know where life will lead us next. This too shall pass, but in the mean time, I wish you clarity and send you many blessings. Hugs.
Thanks for posting. I’m on one of those sharp turns in life right now, and that Joseph Campbell quote speaks volumes to me.
Yes, that Joseph Campbell quote is truly moving. Blessings to you, as you adjust to this new road you’re on. Thanks for commenting.
I think all of it going awry is part of a grand scheme for you to have to stare naked in the face of the truth in your life, and that it builds character. Much more so for folks who skip along in life conventionally and predictably.
I oughta know. I’m in a place I never thought I’d be before. And I go most of it alone. So this resonates.
Thanks for sharing, and love this cathartic piece of writing.
Yes, Pete, it definitely helped me build character. In fact, I went on a deep inner search when I had to accept I wouldn’t have children. That’s when I found myself, and as a result, I found God. I’m glad you liked the piece. Many of us seem to be living an unexpected life. 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and commenting.
We plan, God laughs. I still plan though so I can tell God “I told you so, Mr. Smarty Pants”.
Hee, hee. Your comment reminded me of a favorite quote that I loved from the TV show King of the Hill. It goes: “Believe me, I prayed on it … and God told me ‘don’t do it’, but you know what? I knew better.” Hee, hee. Thank for stopping by, Carl.
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