Today’s post was supposed to be about my new chalkboard wall in my kitchen. I’m using it to plan out our weekly meals and schedule. This past Sunday I spent time writing out the days and meals and planned to take photos and write the post on Monday.
However, this week was not what James and I planned.
I am now on day three of sitting by James’ side at the hospital as we continue to wait for one test after another to determine from where his sudden abdominal pain is coming. Most tests have been inconclusive, yet the pain is strong which leads them to think it is his gallbladder. So we continue with the rule out tests and miscommunication between staff. Nothing is running smoothly.
I went home last night and my chalkboard wall made me sad.
There isn’t one thing about this week that we planned.
I then thought to myself that I should be better accepting of realizing life can change in an instant.
As I sit here writing this post I acknowledge that I could take it in two different directions. I could write a sob story about how very few things in my life have gone as planned. Part of me wants to be selfish and wallow in self-pity and bring up all of those things.
Occasionally, it is healthy to have a pity party and I talked about it earlier this year. However, what I have been finding myself doing is acknowledging that sometimes not getting what you planned is for the best.
That’s not an easy statement to make.
We need to have plans and set goals. We need to dream and have hope that life will work out like we want. I continue to do all of these things but I’ve learned a few things along the way.
Sometimes roadblocks in life prevent you from a greater disaster or disappointment. As we approach the anniversary of 9-11, I think of the stories of the individuals who where running late to work (often for the first time) and as a result were not in the towers when they fell. There have been moments in my own life when I’ve thought about the fact the line was long at the store and prevented me from being the one at the stoplight where the crash occurred. Each time I find myself becoming annoyed in situations I attempt to think that perhaps I am being protected from something else.
Sometimes a plan looks better on paper than it does in real life. As a counselor, I have worked with men and women who set plans for their life while they were in college. They wanted the perfect job, the marriage, the kids, the cars, and the vacations. Many people even have established time lines. It is only later that they realize the cost of having these items in their life. The cost often creates stress, health problems and unhappiness. The ideal job involves 60 hours a week at work and that stresses the ideal marriage (and so on).
Sometimes a failed dream leads us to another better dream. Research shows that many successful entrepreneurs only begin their business after being fired from their dream job. When one reaches the bottom it can become easier to take risks. When you have nothing left to lose it becomes easier to ask “Why not?”
Sometimes the best laid plans will fall apart. When I was planning my wedding, I was told to expect something would go wrong. Things did not go exactly as planned but we had a lovely wedding and we are still married. Nothing can go exactly as planned. Life happens.
Expecting the world to follow your timeline and plan will only create anxiety and stress. My training as a crisis counselor and first responder has helped me in my personal life. It’s important to know that you know your coping skills. We can hope for the best each day that we wake up but we are not guaranteed that the day will go as planned. It can take only a moment to knock you to your knees.
I complete this post as James now sleeps from recovery after having his gallbladder removed. None of his symptoms presented in a normal manner. He was not what the physicians have planned for in diagnosing a gallbladder.
So I sit here with all of the areas of my unplanned life and I realize that I continue to have the ability to make it through each day regardless of what is placed in my path.
I never planned to not be working at a full time job. My teaching flexibility allowed me to be with my husband without worrying about time off from work.
I never planned to no longer having any close biological relatives living. I have discovered that my friends have become my family and love me for me. With them, I am not alone.
I never planned to be someone who shared myself on such a public forum as a blog. However, if my own journey can make another one’s journey better or give them hope – then it is worth the risk.
This life is not what I planned for but I have exactly what I need.
What has happened in your life that you did not plan to happen?
Was it a struggle?
What did you learn?
Sheryl is a transition coach, trainer and speaker from Lexington Kentucky. As the author of the blog How to Make A Life, she uses her own life and journey as a blueprint to help others find motivation, inspiration and hope for a healthy and happy life. About Twitter Instagram Pinterest