Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Plan B

I live in awe of The Accomplishers--people who say, "in two weeks, I will clean out my closet; in two years, I will move into my new house; and in 10 years I will be married with 2.5 kids and a farm"--and it actually happens!

My life rarely rides such an orderly track. I say, "Over the next year I will overhaul my website and add a new emphasis on positive thinking." I map out a time frame to do it. I even get the notes for what I want to do with my website, with cute pictures and boxes of text. Then it gets complicated.

I go to my (much-hated) web-site program, and it takes me two hours to get one paragraph of text up. It loses the pictures I put in, or puts them in the wrong place, or writes the text on top of them. I decide I will need to finally breakdown and hire someone, and after pricing "the help," discover that the reason I haven't hired a website designer before is the cost. So I save for a reasonable web designer. Just as I have enough money for that, the car breaks down, or the computer dies, or some other Really Big Unexpected Expense comes up, and off goes the website money.

Life has been like this for as long as I can remember. I am a self-help acolyte, and I know how the pros say to plan. I have my continually evolving mission statement ("Learn and share how to live a balanced life for the betterment of myself, others, and the world" or, as I put it another time: Share! Love! Fun! Peace.). I have planning programs--which I use until I lose my calendar, or the computer dies for a few days, or the program updates and won't work properly on my equipment, or I don't sleep for three months because we move and the cat keeps us awake. . . .

So I have come to the conclusion that perhaps my problem is resilience. So this year is brought to us by Plan B. Plan B is not the plan you or I wanted. It's not the picket fence and nice pony and Beemer in the driveway. Plan B is what  you do when Plan A hits the skids. When you get sick and can't work. When your business collapses. When your great husband isn't, or he is, but dies, or is injured. When insurance doesn't cover the flood damage. Plan B is rough around the edges. Plan B is kinda ugly.

But Plan B will work. Plan B isn't tied into "shouldas." Plan B may look so unassuming at first no one will try to shoot it down. Plan B is taking 2 jobs. Plan B is eating alone in restaurants. Plan B is biking to work, or driving a car with rust around the edges. Plan B is wearing the wig when your hair falls out, and showing up anyway.

I'm not sure I'm up for Plan B. But the funny thing is, most people don't think they are. They take plan B because it's all they have. I'm trying to embrace Plan B while I still have options. Plan B today is leaving this blog imperfect and coming back to it because it started off as a  nice talk about planning and has turned into a much more interesting anthem to the human spirit. Plan B this month is getting my environment in order and putting out fires. Plan B for the rest of the year is keeping a routine and slicing my to-do list to essentials so I don't lay awake worrying about things that don't matter. I've worked the unexpected Plan B. I've had the sudden deaths, the leaving school to be with sick family, the waking up in the hospital knowing things are different now. I may have those ragged Plan B's in my future. But I'm going to embrace plan B now. I'm going to put the flawless Plan A aside, and rework what's here. Starting where I am, I will make Plan B better than Plan A could ever have been, because Plan B is grown in sweat and tears and sometimes shear, unbelieveable drudgery.

What Plan B's have you had to embrace? Please tell me in comments!


I'd love to hear your comments!