Stuff happens. Circumstances change. Mostly we don’t plan for this stuff. It just shows up, unannounced, uninvited and unexpected.
I had a great conversation with a client today who was struggling with her “plan”. You know, the plan we all make about how our business is going to go, how we are going to be in a fulfilling relationship and have kids by the time we are 35, how when we have enough money saved we will be able to devote ourselves to our passions, when the kids are out of the house, after spring break…..you know the “plan” I speak about.
I too had a plan. And I used to keep making plans…disguised as “goals” that might someday mean I had actually made it. Might create some certainty in this ever-changing world.
“Illusions, Mr. Anderson. Vagaries of Perception” – Agent Smith
But as this friend and I looked back at all of the plans we had made even from our youth….how many of them actually turned out the way we intended for them to?
At least for me, not many, if any. Except for the kids by 35. I told my mom when I was 25 that I was going to have kids by the time I was 35, no matter what. She cringed, too smart to bet against me. Much to her relief though, I did get married and it happened in an “acceptable” way. Quite possibly one of the only things I did in the way society says you should do things. Saved her a couple grey hairs. (You’re welcome mom.)
And such is life. Plans made. Life happens.
I had another conversation later in the day (if I break down my day, it is usually just a stream on conversations) with a man whom I admire, call my mentor and quite possibly the best person I could talk to when the going is rough as he seems to have this illusion that I am fantastic and brilliant all of time. (Note: if you don’t have a friend like this, get one!) And he acknowledged me for “re-inventing” myself. He said it was a valuable quality.
Jeez, I just thought I was doing the best I could to deal with the hand I had been dealt. Trying to be an example for my kids and give them a life worth experiencing.
But, I am inclined to think he might be on to something. Maybe all there ever is to do it invent ourselves…create who we want to be in this life…and when life throws us circumstances that could take away our joy and our happiness because they ripped the bow off of our carefully wrapped plans; Maybe what there is to do is reinvent. Have the circumstances be part of a new plan, one that we create, one that brings us joy.