You know what will eventually happen . The best laid plans are so often just like those sand castles we build.
How often do your plans dissolve before you even touch them? Looking back at my recent blogging sabbatical, I realize the plans I had early on did just that — and that wasn’t the first time.
In between the gardening and the grandmothering, the traveling and the farming, the training and the staining, I discovered — just as I’d hoped — the focus of my next major WIP, the prequel I once referred to as “My Grandmother’s Suitcase.” This blogging sabbatical was working out well, or so I thought.
Excited that I finally had a theme, I knew I needed to get LEAPFROG — that ten-part series on holding civil discourse in this uncivil era that I posted back in 2017 — off my desk. What I expected would be a fairly quick editing job prior to settling down to write the “real work,” turned into my summer writing obsession.
And, what was to be a give-away for my blog subscribers evolved into something bigger. (More on that in a few weeks.) One of the wall hangings from my former Chincoteague home comes to mind:
My life has had a series of Plans B.
When I graduated high school, I was going to be a missionary nurse in Africa (it didn’t matter which country; back then I thought Africa was all of one sort!). Two years at a nearby bible college convinced me missionary work was not for me and after just one year in Cornell University’s New York Hospital School of Nursing, I knew I had to find another career. Off I went to NYU and sociology.
Plans change. Life happens. We move on. Or, as the saying goes:
(Wo)man plans, God laughs.
When I lived in Philadelphia (in the ten years surrounding my 50th birthday), I had my life planned out far enough to envision me as a doddering 84 year old therapist seeing clients in my living room and still renting my third floor rooms to ESL students at Penn. My future was secure; I knew how I’d spend my final years.
Or thought I knew. We joined the Peace Corps and that life dissolved along with those plans — like the sand castle above.
Following our years in Kazakhstan, Woody and I moved here to Vermont with a plan that my younger son and his family would soon join us. We’d create “a family compound,” as his wife had phrased it. My mom joined us the following year, according to plan, but various interruptions kept Jon and Jenna now firmly anchored in Ohio.
Another Plan B moment. Though nearly 1,000 miles away from my sons and their families, we have a life up here in the pristine and rural Green Mountains. Still, it’s a life we enjoy filled with chickens and Sasha and the physical labor it takes to be stewards of 30 acres. It’s a life made even sweeter with each visit from my children and their ever-growing families.
I’m no longer attached to my plans. While I plot out my day each morning with Woody as we go over our calendars, I find that despite our best intentions, the day generally veers off into its own reality. And for me, today, that’s perfectly OK.
How about you? Are you living your Plan? Is it A or B? (Or X, Y, or Z?)