There is a book sitting on the bench in my upstairs hallway that I plan to read a little before shutting my eyes tonight, that is if I can get up to bed earlier than my usual 12:30 a.m. Written by author Tim Kimmel, it is called In Praise of Plan B- Moving from “What is” to “What Can Be”. Intriguing? I thought so.
I’m an “A” kind of girl. I loved getting an A on a report or test (who didn’t?), I consider myself a type A personality and I like things to be A-okay in almost every department of my life or I feel unsettled. Even anxious. Take relationships, for instance. If I sense there is a problem, usually that is enough to rattle my cage and affect everything else going on in my life at that given moment. Or, if the equilibrium of home and work are off, I move from an A to an F. My son loves to use the word “fail” now to describe things in his life (as in, “that shot on goal was a fail”; that, and the word “random”). So, I am usually either an A for awesome or an F for fail when it comes to emotions. It is part hardwiring and part personality. I’m trying to deal with it.
When I came across this particular book last Friday evening, a book about the reality that life is not often lived out as we planned, I could see that I was in for a thought adjustment. So, here I am trying to process my feelings and bring some order to the “random” ideas floating around inside my head. I want to read this book because I have lived most of my adult years believing that Plan A is best. As in, the dreams I have long held as ideal in my head, for happiness, success and soul connections, are not always the reality that I live out. Of course, I have always known that life is not a bed of roses, but I have wished for it to be so. After all, it is for some people, is it not? Sometimes Plan A works out. Why can’t I be included in this latter group of people.
And so, I continue to follow after mirages of water on dry, cracked pavement, always believing that my lofty dreams and aspirations, created to satisfy a deep-seated hunger for more, are just around the corner. But this I know. To follow after things that do not satisfy for the long haul of living is a joy killer. To want Plan A, but lose joy means this: that I have not really found what I was looking for. For behind the search for happiness, success and soul connections, there is a desire to experience a fullness of joy. To feel fully the peace and contentment that real joy brings. This is difficult for most of us to achieve when we are doggedly pursuing a life that seemingly has it all, or as it is better known, Plan A. We cannot have everything, even if Hollywood and others would like to sell that idea to us in shiny packaging.
My experience, having followed the outline for Plan A most of my life, is this: there is always another “i” to dot or “t” to cross on the blueprint of Plan A. Moreover, you feel you have finally reached the pinnacle, only to find there is another hill to climb. Plan A is the unending journey that leads all too often to nowhere. How wonderful for the few that unlock the puzzles that Plan A has hidden within its agenda. But for the rest of us, the disappointment is enough to rob you of what is most precious. Joy in the living the everyday moments right now.
I have found joy in writing this blog, and it is my desire that this journey of mine, to find and live out joy in my life, will be shared by others looking for the same thing. We are everyday people living out ordinary lives. But the desire to live out those lives in continual joy is an extraordinary undertaking. It is impossible to do this without being able to find the truest source for joy, a place where the soul stirs and hungers to know all that is Good and True.
My faith has been my foundation in this search. I have found that I am always brought back to this place. Am I in control or is there One who holds me in the palm of His Hand? And if so, do I trust that He is able to carry me from the lofty, at times unrealistic goals of Plan A and move me to a better place than I thought possible? I will never know until I let go and trust that the Designer of all that is good and perfect has my best in mind.
I try to keep my mind and heart open to the possibilities that await me in this new and foreign Plan B.
Jeremiah, that weeping prophet said in his letter to the Jews in exile, those looking for a better plan than the one they were living: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” To know that there is more to life than this, to believe that anything is possible, and to enjoy the moment I am living right here and now- this is the better plan.
Even if that means following Plan B instead of my original A.