books, From Left to Write, life is hard, reviewing the situation

Life: A Work in Progress

Five-year plans. I began making them at an early age, knowing exactly which courses I’d take my senior year in high school when I was still in eighth grade. My major was decided before I started college, and I was picking up brochures about graduate school during my freshman orientation. My mother would describe this as me rushing my life away; I saw it as having direction.

The first time one of these plans was challenged by that little thing called life, I called my dad in tears from my college apartment. “But this isn’t how I planned it,” I cried. There was talk of “best laid plans” and giving G-d a good laugh when we try to plan out our lives. Of course, that didn’t stop little ‘ole Type-A me from continuing to do so. How do you live without a plan? That’d be like making a road trip without a map. Or taking a vacation without an itinerary. I’m getting heebee jeebees just thinking about it.

Several failed five-year plans later, I now know the importance of revising my mindset. When what I want changes, when priorities shift, when life throws me the unexpected, I can whine about things not going according to plan, or I can, as Fagin so humorously sings, review the situation and think it out again (or, more realistically, do both). My life is a work in progress. Like my writing, it needs to constantly be practiced, nurtured, evaluated, and revised.

As I stare down the reality of my third layoff in two years (who says lightning never strikes the same place twice?), never mind my five-year plan. I need a new right-now plan. I honestly don’t know what that looks like yet, but as I begin to figure it out, I hope to stay true to what I want (also TBD), modifying my life to reflect not only what my current reality is, but also what I need from this ensuing chapter. Until the next revision, that is.

This post was inspired by Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth BardI received a complimentary copy of the book for review through the online book club, From Left to Write. You can read additional posts inspired by the book here

8 thoughts on “Life: A Work in Progress”

  1. Life is what happens to while making other plans. Trite but true. As I move squeamishly in to my 6th decade, I finally have accepted this reality. And in writing my memoir, I have come to accept Einstein's saying, “Life is lived forward but understood backwards” as another truth!

    Great post.


  2. Oh my soul sister I feel your pain and I am so sorry. Everything will be ok. I promise. Sending you loads of love and hugs. (Maybe come visit?!)


  3. I hear ya…You can still have a 5-year plan, but it might have to change once every 2 weeks! Living in France definitely helped me live more comfortably in the moment – call me a “recovering” control freak.


  4. The LORD knows all human plans;
    he knows that they are futile

    Is one of my of my favorite psalms (94:11)

    It kind of reminds me that I can have all the plans in the world, but ultimately everything is the big guy's plan. I have a lot of issues with this planning thing and it being futile at times too , and I remind myself that God has something in store for me and it's all part of HIS plan.
    Hang in there ^_^.


  5. Oh, dear …SO SO true. Forgive yourself. You didn't do anything that made your plan not work out – LIFE happens. Best of Luck figuring out your next step. I know it will be the right one.


  6. I was laid off last Sept and since then, hv focused on my own creative biz and how I wanna live the rest of my life. You can do anything. Just start believing in yourself. It starts there. xo hugs


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