Raise your hand if you have ever made plans and they got cancelled or didn’t work out the way you had hoped. Yeah, I thought so. Me too.
If I had a nickel for every time plans got changed in my lifetime, I would be SUPER rich. (In fact now that I think about it maybe I should have started collecting those nickels a long time ago…I’d really have something to show for it!)
I used to be so resistant to plans changing. I’d get invited to a social gathering, commit to attending well in advance, and then end up having a crazy day, not feeling well, or had some type of urgent situation pop up. And although I knew it wouldn’t be in my best interest to show up to the event, I would show up anyway. I’d make it happen no matter how I felt, just because I had committed and didn’t want to disappoint or upset anyone. I was a woman of my word.
I remember one instance when I was living in Detroit, our friends invited us over for a home cooked dinner. We planned it weeks in advance, and we were all really pumped up for it and excited to see each other. Then the snow started and didn’t stop, for hours. If I remember correctly, there was a minimum of six inches of accumulation…I’d say more based on my driving experience (which I will never forget).
Keep I mind that, in Michigan, driving in snowy weather is a regular, normal thing. Don’t be a wuss, do your day, no matter what. It snows, you go to work. It snows, you go to school (unless it’s REALLY bad and they pity you and even then it’s only a day or two a year no matter how much it snows).
On this particular night though, it was BAD. I remember driving my little Saturn Ion (which was like driving ice skates on the highway) and fearing for my life the entire way there. My knuckles were white, and my body cinched up, belly hugged in tightly with my face practically IN the windshield as if getting tinier and closer would help me see through the whiteout.
The snow was so deep you couldn’t even see the lines on the road. I couldn’t see my lane, and no one else was on the road (because I was the only crazy one keeping my plans that night) so there were no tail lights to follow. I drove 20 miles an hour, slipping and sliding the entire way there.
I stopped breathing. My heart was racing. I feared for my life. And yes, I did it all in the name of keeping my plans.
As it turns out, we made it there safe and sound and had a really great time with our friends. And by the time we left to go back home, the snow had stopped and the plow trucks had come out to play. All good news!
But was it worth thinking I would die for 30 minutes? I’d say not really.
This isn’t the only instance that I “made sh*t happen.” I did it all the time. No matter what, if I committed to something, I was there.
To be clear, there is nothing wrong with that. To be a reliable and trustworthy person are great qualities to possess as a human. However, there are times we need to not only change our plans, but to do it in the name of being kind to ourselves.
Life is full of surprises. Every day is not only an opportunity to wake up and live life, but an opportunity for change.
I believe the lyrics are, “Well, it doesn’t show signs of stopping. And I brought some corn for popping. The lights are turned way down low. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.” YES. Thanks for enlightening us, Dean!
Maybe your plans were to leave after the movie. But, wouldn’t it be much easier to stick around, eat some popcorn and snuggle, rather than take the chance of nearly dying on the ride home?
I know, what a ridiculous analogy…but you get my drift (no pun intended…I know, my jokes are on point today…don’t be jealous of my corny humor).
The point is, what if you didn’t have to work so hard in life? What if surrendering to what is, regardless of what you had planned, is the best route for your health, your life, and the situation at hand?
And, going a step further, what if there were something BIGGER than you, a force more powerful than you can even imagine, that had big plans for your life that just happen to be a bit different from your earthly plans?
That party that you were supposed to go to…maybe your sister borrowed your car and couldn’t get it back to you in time to attend. Maybe there was a reason you weren’t supposed to make it to that party. Trust your circumstances. Trust that everything happens for a reason. Trust that higher part of yourself that gives you “gut feelings” which warn you about dangers around you. Trust the change in plans. TRUST THE FLOW OF LIFE, and try to surrender and flow with it.
Follow your instincts, no matter what anyone else thinks or says. Try not to fight your life so hard. Our friend Dean Martin might say let it snow. I like to say, let it flow, let it flow, let it flow.
I am not saying this is easy to do. It takes lots of practice, each day focusing a little more on being open to what comes your way. I am still working on this. To unwind my pattern of being a bit overly regimented and rigid has taken a LOT of practice and time. But I have come to realize that it’s worth the work in the long run, because when life throws you a curve ball, it takes a lot less energy to just let it go than to try and stop it.