Ah, the wisdom of Mr. Campbell. I believe him. The above quotation reflects a major lesson life has taught me. Heck, the title of this blog is Living Plan B. I know planning is somewhat of a myth, and at this point, I’m fairly adept at the large pivots. Even still, in 2023, at the age of 66, I continue to be sorely disappointed when my plans fall through.
Take this winter, for example. We made the choice to snowbird in Arizona instead of Florida, reasons being:
My daughter-in-law is in nursing school, and I welcomed the opportunity to be the extra set of loving arms needed here.
BF is leaving from San Diego the 6th of March to ride his bicycle across the Southern Tier of America with Adventure Cycling.
My plan was . . .
Become quickly acclimated to the neighborhood and the time zone, play pickleball daily and walk and take yoga at least 3 days a week. Work out at the gym and enjoy random playtime with the grands, making Fridays with them a permanent date. To have sleepovers and share weekends. To enjoy the Arizona sunshine and stolen afternoons hanging out with the kids. To explore Arizona hiking. To read and write and make new friends.
My plan did NOT include . . .
Enduring the coldest, rainiest winter anyone around here can remember. Or being so sick, I’d move to the guest room to protect BF; the guest bedroom where I’d hole up, alone, for three weeks. Where I’d go through a box of tissues a day and bottles of cold medicine. Never did I dream I’d be searching for a doctor here. Or I’d come to feel as if I’d never rise from my bed and walk again. Definitely didn’t plan to cancel visits from the Colorado kid and the Chicago kids. To not have the energy to shower or walk to the mailbox.
I’m better now. Way less pitiful. I can reflect. I can be grateful I had planned to take January off from blogging because all forces of creativity or living anything share-worthy escaped me.
My time here is half over. I’m finally feeling like myself and enjoying life again. The Colorado kid has come and gone, and the Chicago kids have been rescheduled. Each play date, shared meal, and Friday play day has been a treat. I’m getting a taste of what it’s like to live in the same area code as grandkids, and I like it.
Once again, I’m reminded to accept letting go of the life I planned. I don’t know if Joseph Campbell is only referencing the big stuff like when Plan A is shattered, and Plan B comes together with a happy ending. Also, I don’t interpret his message as to never make plans. We have to buy the plane tickets, right?
For now, I’m focusing on my willingness to let go. I still can’t make sense of losing a month due to puniness or to record-breaking cold temperatures, but I can vow to loosen my grip. To be present. To understand that I will, most likely, rise from my bed and walk.
I’m grateful I’m here. And I’m grateful to be open to the life that is waiting for me.