Man Plans, God Laughs

By Laura Drake

I know better. Really, I do.

I’ve been planning our move to Texas for over ten years.  We’re going to build a custom home on 80 acres outside Midland (where my husband is from.)  I scouted plans, I cut out fabric samples, I researched windows. I dreamed.

I retired last June. My husband is retiring in a month. Progress! We went on the annual pilgrimage to Texas for the Holidays full of plans to visit the timber framer in San Antonio, and to meet with our contractor.

It’s finally happening!

We even talked about putting our house in California up for sale, and looked at comps to see how to price it.

Then came my doctor appointment on Jan 2. I need complex foot surgery that will involve sawing bones, pinning them back together, a non-weight bearing cast for 8 weeks, a boot for 4 – THEN I get to do the same thing on the other foot.  It can’t be put off – I can’t walk a mile now, and it will only get worse.

UGH!  I spent a day mourning, railing against the powers that be. It’s not fair!

Well, duh. If my life has taught me anything, it’s that life isn’t fair.

I ‘m a doer. I set a goal, make a plan, and barrel toward it, muscling everything else out of my way. I accomplish a lot, but what I accomplish is in black and white. I don’t have time for color.

Everyone needs color in their lives.

I’ve also learned that side roads you didn’t plan sometimes lead to the most amazing experiences – experiences better than you could imagine, much less, plan.  If I were in total control, I’d have missed those turn-offs entirely, and the joy I’ve gotten from them. They are the vivid color in the paint-by-numbers lines I’ve drawn for my life.

So, I’m looking differently at this delay now. Obviously, if I can’t walk for effectively 4 months, I’m going to have to slow down. What will I see if I do? Maybe a side path I’d have run past, normally.

It could be a path that makes all the difference.

And even if it doesn’t, I don’t have a choice anyway – why not relax and be open to a change that’s coming regardless? I’m a big believer in focus; you can have a happy life or a miserable one, based on your focus. I know, I’ve been accused of being Pollyanna before, but if it makes me happier, I’m all for it!

So how about you?   Has life ever thrown a side road in your path? Have you ever changed your attitude with a change of focus?