When things don’t go the way you’ve planned

I actually don’t plan. The reasons for this are many. It’s possible I don’t even know all the reasons for this. One, as noted previously, despite my best intentions I’m kind of an “in-the-moment” kind of gal. Even if I do plan ahead, I very possibly will be so present in the present that I will forget. (Just ask my visiting teachers.) Two, I’m so conditioned to the unexpected, I feel like not planning somehow leaves room for it in such a way it shouldn’t be unexpected and I can be more flexible–bend to meet it. As if that somehow gives me control. (Note: It doesn’t.) Three, I’m sometimes–maybe even often–tired and overwhelmed and just don’t want to deal with the weight of expectations and to-do items scheduled on my calendar. Who knows, but that’s how I am and I’ve been that way even before I was an 8ish to 5ish M-F kind of girl. Even from my early days as a young stay-at-home mom I somehow found it more mentally healthy for me to use a “done” list at the end of the day (even when it was quite short) than to start my day with a long and impossible “to-do” list.

In any case, I could have written (is that really the correct word?) a photo essay of things that haven’t gone the way I planned (see above). Except that a), since I don’t really plan and b), since my life is also full of successes and happy serendipitous surprises and people, places, and events I choose, such a photo essay might be a misrepresentation.

But above, for your enjoyment, is the Reader’s Digest Condensed version. Because sometimes recipes that have gone perfectly well before explode in your oven. And sometimes your attempt to dress up a cake mix (which you rarely use but was your go-to this time because you needed lots of cupcakes in a hurry) takes more time and your dozens of cupcakes are neither uniform nor pretty. And sometimes you generously give your kid who’s moving out a good TV (so good D.I. won’t even take them anymore, who knew?) and, well, it costs you nearly $400 to get your rear window replaced.

Stuff happens. Life’s messy. If you’re not married to your schedule, or a neatly balanced bank account, or having a perfect life, well, somehow, at least in my mind, it’s easier to roll with it. And it’s easier to laugh instead of cry.

[Day 183 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]