Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Life: A Work in Progress

Five-year plans. I began making them at an early age, knowing exactly which courses I'd take my senior year in high school when I was still in eighth grade. My major was decided before I started college, and I was picking up brochures about graduate school during my freshman orientation. My mother would describe this as me rushing my life away; I saw it as having direction.

The first time one of these plans was challenged by that little thing called life, I called my dad in tears from my college apartment. "But this isn't how I planned it," I cried. There was talk of "best laid plans" and giving G-d a good laugh when we try to plan out our lives. Of course, that didn't stop little 'ole Type-A me from continuing to do so. How do you live without a plan? That'd be like making a road trip without a map. Or taking a vacation without an itinerary. I'm getting heebee jeebees just thinking about it.

Several failed five-year plans later, I now know the importance of revising my mindset. When what I want changes, when priorities shift, when life throws me the unexpected, I can whine about things not going according to plan, or I can, as Fagin so humorously sings, review the situation and think it out again (or, more realistically, do both). My life is a work in progress. Like my writing, it needs to constantly be practiced, nurtured, evaluated, and revised.

As I stare down the reality of my third layoff in two years (who says lightning never strikes the same place twice?), never mind my five-year plan. I need a new right-now plan. I honestly don't know what that looks like yet, but as I begin to figure it out, I hope to stay true to what I want (also TBD), modifying my life to reflect not only what my current reality is, but also what I need from this ensuing chapter. Until the next revision, that is.

This post was inspired by Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth BardI received a complimentary copy of the book for review through the online book club, From Left to Write. You can read additional posts inspired by the book here


Bren said...

Life is what happens to while making other plans. Trite but true. As I move squeamishly in to my 6th decade, I finally have accepted this reality. And in writing my memoir, I have come to accept Einstein's saying, "Life is lived forward but understood backwards" as another truth!

Great post.

Bren said...

Please educate me. Why do some blogs allow only specified ID's such as Word Press, etc?

My email is brendabpeterson@gmail.com

My url is www.brendabartellapeterson.com

and my comment is the previous comment.

Great blog. I will be back.

colleen said...

Oh my soul sister I feel your pain and I am so sorry. Everything will be ok. I promise. Sending you loads of love and hugs. (Maybe come visit?!)

Silicon Valley Diva said...

Ugh! So very sorry to hear about the threat of another layoff. Hoping things work out for you.
No matter what, I greatly admire you for having a plan! At least you tried.

Lunch in Paris said...

I hear ya...You can still have a 5-year plan, but it might have to change once every 2 weeks! Living in France definitely helped me live more comfortably in the moment - call me a "recovering" control freak.

Brittany said...

The LORD knows all human plans;
he knows that they are futile

Is one of my of my favorite psalms (94:11)

It kind of reminds me that I can have all the plans in the world, but ultimately everything is the big guy's plan. I have a lot of issues with this planning thing and it being futile at times too , and I remind myself that God has something in store for me and it's all part of HIS plan.
Hang in there ^_^.

theparakeet said...

Oh, dear ...SO SO true. Forgive yourself. You didn't do anything that made your plan not work out - LIFE happens. Best of Luck figuring out your next step. I know it will be the right one.

Bonita Rose said...

I was laid off last Sept and since then, hv focused on my own creative biz and how I wanna live the rest of my life. You can do anything. Just start believing in yourself. It starts there. xo hugs