Sunday, December 31, 2017

Plans? What plans?

This morning I picked up my friend Ellen to go to church. I have been to St. Francis in the Foothills Church at least 20 times and I know the way.

Once, last month, I missed the Alvernon offramp and stayed on Interstate 10 about four miles too long. It took me an extra 20 minutes to get to the church. All we missed was "the hugging part at the beginning."

Today I took the Alvernon offramp but missed the left turn at Swan. By the time I noticed, I was 20 minutes from the church. Ellen and I decided to go out for breakfast instead.

I have a pretty good sense of direction and I am an excellent navigator, but if I am involved in a significant conversation I can get distracted. That is what happened both times.

In both cases, I wasn't lost. I knew exactly where I was. It just wasn't where I was supposed to be. In the first case we arrived late at our original destination. In the second, we skipped the planned endpoint completely and did something else instead.

Things don't always go as planned. And that is not always a bad thing.
  • We reserved two timeshare villas in Sedona for next weekend to accommodate up to 12 family members for a week. We thought it would be a great place for a winter gathering, especially since most of those family members live where it either rains or snows in the winter. That was the destination. What actually happened was that ten people said they'd be there and four then changed their plans. So there are now six of us, and almost everyone can only be there for two days. At first I was upset; all that planning, for a week for 12, ending up with two days for six. Then I realized that the outcome isn't the problem; it's my expectation of what the outcome should be. I now expect our smaller number of family members will have a delightful time.
  • One of our trips to Greece this year did not go at all as planned. My luggage got lost and took three days to arrive. My husband Art packed his medications in a checked bag, and a third of the meds disappeared between Seattle and Athens. The driver of our car - who shall remain nameless - hit a curb with the rental car and Enterprise charged us $600 for the repair.  I didn't take my CPAP machine, and my noisy sleep drove two roommates out, so I paid $250 to ship my CPAP from home - and it got stuck in Customs for two days until I paid another $200. Art got a small electrical shock on a kitchen stove and the shock messed with his pacemaker/ defibrillator, which then beeped inside his body every four hours until we drove to the ER in Athens to have it checked out. Our flight home was delayed for 24 hours. But the hiccups of this trip make for a memorable retelling.
  • We ordered blinds for the 19 windows in our winter place. We were assisted by excellent people at Lowe's. Two of the blinds didn't fit a corner correctly. We were assisted again by excellent people at Lowe's. Between Home Depot and Lowe's, I now have a definite preference. Excellent customer service - especially in the resolution of a problem - makes the difference for me.
  • Art and I had lunch on Wednesday at the cafe next to the theatre where we had matinee tickets to "Man of La Mancha". Something in my ham sandwich was troublesome, and my body responded with a total evacuation for the next 12 hours.  Someone commented, "Food poisoning is a terrible way to lose weight." But it is a way!
When I bought my Honda Accord in 1998, I had a license plate frame made that says, "Make God laugh; tell him your plans." In 2015 I replaced that Accord with a new one. And I moved the license plate frame from the old car to the new. It's still a great reminder for me.


Linda Reeder said...

So I guess along with persistence, one needs resilience. :-)

joeh said...

Planning is good, but as you point out, you need to be able to make adjustments. I miss turn from not paying attention also now I use that cell phone GPS thing just to tell me when to turn while I am off thinking about something else.

DJan said...

I remember that star-crossed trip to Greece. When you write down all that went wrong, it's amazing that it now just seems like a great adventure! But I'm glad I don't do much international travel any more. :-)

#1Nana said...

That attitude is why we were good travel partners! Sometimes it difficult to roll with with challenges, but in the end it's the relationships that are important. When we can't control a situation, stewing over it is a waste of time. Looking forward to seeing you and Art in the new year. Happy New Year! said...

I first saw that saying when I found out I was pregnant at the age of 40. It was true then as well as now. God definitely has a sense of humor.

Mona McGinnis said...

Letting go of expectations re: outcome has been my biggest accomplishment in 2017. Life has improved immensely since I quit telling myself a story around the outcome. It is what it is. And when it isn't, press the reset button and carry on. Happy New Year!

Arkansas Patti said...

You have had some excellent examples of making do with an unplanned occurrence. Love how you have managed to mostly salvage a situation if no other way than having a good blog post when the dust settled. Plan B's are sometimes better than Plan A would have been.

Olga said...

19 windows!
I have come to believe the secret to a happy life is to just roll with it.

Meryl Baer said...

Plan to be flexible and go with the flow is an excellent philosophy. Happy New Year!

Meryl Baer said...

Plan to be flexible and go with the flow is an excellent philosophy. Happy New Year!

Tom said...

... but life hasn't been boring!

Dee said...

Dear Linda, you've had an eventful year and you seem to have reflected on it and found new wisdom. What a wonderful 2017 gift. I hope that 2018 brings you another gift you can treasure.

As to the sign you had on your car, I've learned the truth of it in the past 10 years. Always I've planned ahead and had great
expectations, but I've learned that all my planning must be tentative from now on. I need to let go of the plans and let Holy Oneness surround me with what is best for me.

Peace now and ever.