Things Do Not Always Go According to Plan

I have been walking around for the past day and a half muttering the words, "Let go, goon!"

Let me explain.

When Husband and I were first married, I had one of those page-a-day calendars with an illustration and a quote for each day.  There was one that I had torn out and taped to the refrigerator.  On that page was a person at a crossroads.  There was a directional sign.  One arrow pointed ahead and was labeled:  "The rest of your life."  One arrow pointed back the way the person had come; it read:  "No longer an option."  At the bottom of the drawing, in all caps, it said:  "LET GO GO ON".  But the spacing was such that, if you glanced at it quickly, it sometimes looked like "LET GO GOON."  So Husband and I began saying that to each other when one or the other of us was frustrated about something we had no control over.  Since then, "Let go, goon!" has been an oft-uttered phrase around our house.


I had a plan for yesterday.  It was the last day of preschool, my last day to myself, I kept thinking, until the summer babysitters are available in a few weeks.  I was planning to do some writing.  I was planning to run to the post office and mail a package to my mom.  I was planning to stop at the fabric store and get a button for my tan pants.  I was planning to write a few thank-you notes.  I was planning to order groceries.

Sister woke up with a fever and an earache.  There went my plan.

No problem, I thought.  New plan.  Drop AJ at school, then go to the doctor with Sister and be back to pick up AJ.  Order groceries while they nap.

No appointments 'til noon.  New plan.  Leave AJ at school for the afternoon,  forget the groceries - go pick up a roasted chicken for dinner, take Sister to the doc, pick up the prescriptions, then pick up AJ.  Be back in time for a quick nap, then go get The Bean from the bus stop.  

No roasted chickens.  None?  None.  AJ's school calling: he's not feeling well, could I come get him earlier?  Prescriptions not ready yet.  Half-an-hour wait.  New plan.  Go get AJ now, then pick up prescriptions.  Quick rest.  Then get The Bean.  Defrost a meatloaf for dinner.

Prescriptions still not ready.  Ten minute wait.  New plan. Wait for prescriptions.  Call M. to see if she can pick The Bean up from the bus stop.  Try to keep people from falling asleep in the car (including myself).  Hope Sister and AJ will rest once we're finally home..... if we ever actually get home........

So went my day.  And I found myself getting really out of sorts because things were not going according to plan.  Nothing huge or insurmountable, just a hundred little changes to how I thought my day would unfold.  And I didn't like it at all.

Then I heard those three little words in the back of my mind, "Let go, goon!" and I started wondering:  Why is it still so hard for me to embrace the fact that things do not always proceed according to plan?  I mean, I know this already!  Some relatively major things have not gone according to plan in my life.  Living 650 miles away from home and family?  Wasn't in the plan.  Developing a debilitating chronic illness?  Wasn't in the plan.  If I know from my own life's journey that plans are an illusion, why is it so hard when day-to-day things don't go the way I think they will, or the way I want them to?


I read something last week, a quote by Francois Fenelon, who said:

"There is only one way to love God: to take not a single step without him, and to follow with a brave heart wherever he leads."

Somehow, this advice seems easier to apply to the big things in life: cross-country moves, serious illnesses, and the like.  I've been able to rise to the challenge for those big things.  I've tried to be brave, strong, enduring, and peaceful amidst difficulty and disappointment.  But what if I applied this advice to life's smaller disappointments?  What if all the hundred little things that don't go according to plan each day, each week, each  month, are not just minor disappointments but are also another step down one's spiritual path, are also part of the call to one's true life?  It's something I've been thinking about a lot for the past 24 hours. 

Until I puzzle it out a little more, "Let go, goon!" will have to do.

1 comment:

KK said...

Hi Molly. I have had and still have many a day that goes exactly as I did not plan. What I try to do now when I wake up each morning is say to myself, "I wonder what is going to happen on this day?" I try to find good things or joy in all the unexpected stuff. I stay aware of who I encounter that day, usually strangers. I give each of them a kind word. Makes me feel better. My other stuff will still be there when I finally get to it. I call it "Motherhood." When I surrender to the events of the day, I no longer suffer.