Sunday, October 30, 2011

When you're busy making plans

Last week I had the rug swept from under me. The plans that I'd been so happily making over the last few months were stolen in a moment.

It happens all the time, of course. 99% of our lives are outside of our control. We share this world with people, with mother nature, and we get very little that we can control.

They're the things I like to focus on, obviously. I can control my values, my behaviours. I choose what to eat, how to look after my body (albeit determined to some extent by the outside factors; finance, time...). I choose what type of person I want to be, what kind of employee, friend, partner, mother I want to be seen as.

That's great and all; but it's not enough to build a life for yourself - and so you let other people in. You plan holidays, you share houses, you form relationships that offer you the things you can't do by yourself. You trust. You hope. You cross your fingers and pray for the best.

And when the worst happens? You breathe. You scream. You curse. You shake it off. And you make new plans. Because that's what we do - and what we do best.

I didn't ever imagine being a single 26 year old girl with a puppy and a lease and a car I can't afford on my own. But I'm here. And I'm making plans again.

I'm making new plans; the kind of fun, spontaneous plans only a single girl can make. Plans for travel, for adventure. And if some dashing, ruggard and athletic man comes and pulls the rug from under those plans - well then I'll just have to make new ones again.

I rarely look back to my church days fondly, but there is one scripture I remember and think of often. It's in the book of Jeremiah (chapter 29, for anyone that would like to look it up). God told Jeremiah to build homes, and plan to stay. To plant trees and eat the fruit they produce. To marry and have children. The great thing about this story, is that Babylon, where Jeremiah was living at the time, was later destroyed. And assuming God would have known this in advance (that's the theory remember) he still told Jeremiah to knuckle down and make plans.

I think of this often - a gal that's moved as many times as I have still has to find a way to feel at home. So I always plan to stay. Even when I know I likely won't. I plant things in the garden, I make the effort to 'finish' decorating the house. I make sure that wherever I am, is home. Whoever I am with, is family.

The other thing I'm thinking about at the moment, is the plans that got lost before you made these last lot of plans. What did you have to sacrifice in order to make room for your new plans? What can you put back on your list of 'things to do'?

John Lennon says 'Life is what happens when your busy making plans.' But I disagree. I think life is what happens when your plans turn to shit, and you look around, see where you are, and realise there's still plenty of places you can go.

And that's my thought for this week.