Monday, March 26, 2012

The New Plan

I don't know about you, but I've always been a life planner. At 8 years old I knew, just knew, that I'd be a teacher after college. As I was graduating college I knew, just knew, that I'd have two kids and a house with my then boyfriend by age 25. When none of that happened by age 25 I knew, just knew, that I'd work for a while in finance and then I'd quit and have kids and become a teacher. When that didn't happen by age 35 I knew, just knew that I'd adopt both my kids before age 40 and we'd be fully past the toddler years as we were heading over the hill. And when they were in kindergarten I could quit my finance job and get into teaching, finally. And my kids would be close in age just like me and my sister. That was the plan, revised about a thousand times. I don't know why it's taken me 37 years to realize that I don't know anything about how my life is supposed to turn out, even in the next couple of years. Life is constantly changing and evolving, mostly into something better than I had planned even with the hiccups and catastrophes along the way. Most of the travels, the things I've done, the people I've met wouldn't have happened if my original plan had worked out. I think about this every day as I watch my daughter grow up and bring us so much joy. And as we get together with the families we've met through our adoption community. My original plan didn't work out. What happened is way better.
So I am done planning. The new "plan" is no plan. It's to roll with it. What life brings me and what feels right at the time is what is meant to happen, even if it's not in the plan. 
That's why our decision to back off the adoption list for a couple of years to get on more solid financial ground feels right. This wasn't in the original or revised plan at all. It sets me way back on that plan actually. I'll be 40+ with a newborn, not a teacher for at least another 7 to 8 years or maybe never because I may just want to stay in finance forever, and my kids will be at least 5 to 6 years apart. Um, ok. So what is so darn wrong with that? NOTHING!!
I had a recent epiphany - all those things I had "planned" for so long were just pre-conceived ideas that I've had stuck in my head that have probably been limiting me from really living my life and rolling with the punches. 
I've often admired resilient people. Those people who don't seemed phased when stuff happens that sets them back a little. And I've never thought of myself as an overly resilient person. Probably because I've planned too much, and stuff happens that always pushes me off my plan. But now I think I will be more resilient. Life changes in too many unexpected ways to try to stick to a plan. In the little things day to day, and the bigger life changing things. Resilient people know that life will go on and will probably be better for the change of plans.
I'm not saying I'm abandoning my life dreams. Daydreaming about the future is one thing. But planning so much that your life revolves around future plans that you can't control and you're disappointed when it doesn't go according to the plan is another.
We made the decision to back off the adoption list for financial reasons. But once we made that decision it became crystal clear that it needed to happen that way for many more reasons. I don't know exactly what they all are yet. But somehow I just know, just know, that it's meant to happen this way. And our lives will evolve around it, in unexpected, unplanned ways.

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