Life is all about how you handle plan B. A friend bought me a mug last year, when I was going through a rough time, and it had this saying. I thought then about how I really like the quote and the gift. My brain wanted to add more- like ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff; it is all small stuff’. I felt like the quote should be ‘life is all about how you handle plan B; prepare for life to ALWAYS need a plan B’.
Honestly, has your life ever not required some version of plan B? I don’t think any part of my life has not had some sort of plan B popped in, however big or small that could be. While I was washing dishes tonight, that mug to be exact… I thought about a better solution than prepping for plan B. Prep and plan in the same sentence create a scenario that could totally fail. Preparing for a plan, sounds hard and for me is not.going.to.work… it almost makes my brain think there won’t be big glitches and changes.
Maybe, just maybe life is about not putting our attention into a plan. Maybe we refocus on the ride. Life is a crazy ride, a rollercoastery space mountain with an occasional lazy river. It is a mix of lines when you meant to have speed passes, it is getting right up to the moment and your child freaking out because of heights- having to climb back down the scary ladder. Life is messy, we spill sticky slushies right after eating the best cotton candy ever. Life is a mix of it all, but really it isn’t planned, at least the plan never goes accordingly.
I thought when I was younger I would live in a BIG city, I would be Miss Metropolitan. I wanted to find a cool Italian Husband and live the life of ‘The Last Don’… or live in the city and be a successful architect. I had such plans… I started college as an engineer with plans of going on to architecture school. Then I took physics… and realized God made me to be a Biology major. I loved dissecting and taking things apart… drawing cells and talking about habitats. Physics did not work in my brain. I met this boy back then, that I was drawn to, and that argued that physics ALWAYS worked. Our oppositeness was apparently a HUGE draw for me. So… after not wanting to build houses with angles and formulas and the science of physics involved I went back to what I know and love. I fell in love with that physics loving boy and BAM… the life plan changed. All of the sudden the plan was college and adventures, marriage and children, a house and puppy… after it all it felt like we were totally on plan. We did it right and we had these awesome set of chicks. This was THE PLAN. We vacationed on the lake and I saw sunsets and grandkids in the future. I saw weddings and college and adventures to Greece and London… the places that didn’t fit into the plan early in our marriage. I saw my forever person.
Madeline died. Losing Madeline was a huge realization that plans never work. All I planned and prepped her for is gone, all those future hopes are changed. My darling’s plans became something so different than I could ever imagined, than most could have. This was not in the plan, but honestly I think it reminds me to let go of the plan. My marriage to the boy who loved physics ended, in ways naïve and open Erin could never have imagined. This life did not fit into the plan, none of them. Maybe, just maybe we aren’t the knowers of the plan. Maybe this so called plan is something written and known by someone else, who always knows that plan B is the best one anyway. He knows the outcome, He must know the plan. In giving up on the plan that our brain creates… it is like a pathway to just letting life be what it is. Lessening the negative when it doesn’t work out, or stress about swapping it up to plan B.
While washing dishes I felt like I feel anxiety over the planning now. I feel fear of it not working out. I don’t like to plan, or look too far ahead- it will look like it does anyway. I feel scared too think far ahead to plan. My daughter died only a few days after being diagnosed. My marriage failed when I truly thought he was made for me, that we would fix and build. So using the word plan makes my heart beat fast and makes me want to run away. I joke that I have commitment issues, but commitment is kind of a plan, and I have issues with plans. I am now the lady who halfway RSVP’s. I am the lady who shows up with wine when I can’t pull together a dish or comes all fancy with a homemade appetizer. You really never know who you are going to get, the best part is- neither do I. This ride is bumpy and smooth, then drops and give us butterflies, it flattens out and then throws a scary few turns and hills. Sometimes we know what is coming, others it is out of view. Life is like that.
I quite like this life. In giving up ‘the plan’ or living in ‘plan B’ we can understand how it is so much bigger than us. Life will never go according to plan, we aren’t even big enough to understand the plan. I like this way much better. I don’t get to look at what I think I will see in the future, but I love seeing the now. I love letting go of trying to control these things. I am also working on my commitment issues, and trying not to run away from some of the amazing and scary opportunities and adventures. I am trying to not curse when what I let my brain think was ‘the plan’ breaks and doesn’t work. Sometimes plan B, is quite perfect… plans get cancelled and you have free time to sit on your butt and not leave your house. Sometimes plan B sucks and you are stranded in Baltimore with no plane in sight to bring you home to your ladies. So is life… full of nothing that ever goes to plan and some of it rocks and some of it sucks. I think in general I am getting good at plan B, or His real plan. I think I have become quite flexible and bendable on this rollercoaster. I think through it all I have stood up, brushed off, laughed, cried, broke, smiled, broke and kept on breathing and living and moving and growing.