I may have mentioned before that I am…ahem…a planner. I make plans for everything. When things don’t go according to the plans I’ve made or have accepted in my head I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. This can be as minor as my husband changing plans for our evening without telling me which…I’ll have you know…makes me effing crazy. Or, as significant as planning for my entire young life to go to law school, and when I decide it’s not what I want to do, spending my adult years not sure how to get over a plan that was so engrained in my young mind.
In addition to that lovely trait, I’m also not fond of doing things at which I’m not sure I’ll succeed. I like to have a pretty good idea that I’ll be able to DO what I’m setting out to DO. I’m not a big risk taker. I’ll take risks on people but not so much on myself.
And this is when you’re thinking to yourself ‘man, this broad gets BETTER AND BETTER!’ I know. I know.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand…I enthusiastically signed up for a number of runs this year. They range in distance from 5ks to 10ks. I’ve recently had to admit that running is not working for me right now and I haven’t run in nearly three weeks. This would be fine…except…I’m registered for an 8k on Saturday. Sh-t.
I convinced Eh and our girlfriend Ss that they should do it too. And it took some convincing. And now I’m not sure I can even do it. All week I’ve been thinking that there is no way in hell that I can even go. I haven’t run in weeks, I’m not convinced I can even complete the 8k, and I am pretty sure I’d be in some serious pain for the days that will follow. Now that I’ve been virtually pain-free for a couple of weeks the thought of the pain returning makes me very sad.
I’ve also been sick this week. My head cold has moved to my chest and you know how crappy it is to exercise with gunk in your chest. No fun at all. So, to summarize…a) I convinced my friends to run this race, b) I am no longer running regularly, and c) I’m sick. I was ready to throw in the towel.
This evening I had a meeting for a professional opportunity that has presented itself. It’s not a new job, but it’s something in which I could get involved that could lead to great things, and it’s something that is completely different from anything I’ve ever done. Something I’ve never considered nor have I been interested. As I sat through the meeting I started to get really excited. I was surprised because I wasn’t expecting that to happen at all. I was actually accompanying a friend and wasn’t necessarily planning to even entertain the idea myself. It’s not part of “my plan” you see, so why bother even considering. But during the meeting I found myself participating more than I’d anticipated, and getting excited about things that on the surface seem very unlike me, and by the end of it I was straight up giddy.
I got home and walked the dog and started to think about my “plans.” Logically, I know how silly it is to be so rigid about the plans I have in my head. This is real life and plans are simply ideas and guidelines. They aren’t rules. They aren’t static. They need to be fluid, and living, and adaptable, and based on reality. Just because I might not be able to achieve a great time in the race, or even run the entire thing, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t go get my bib and do the best damn job I can…right? And just because an opportunity presents itself, and it isn’t one of the pre-planned career ideas already thought out in my head, doesn’t negate its potential or the fact that it completely excites me…right?
I’m pretty sure that if I stick only to the plans I’ve made thus far that I’d be putting significant limits to the kind of life I could potentially live. Maybe I need to open my mind, widen my parameters, and allow for things to go off course from time to time. Off course doesn’t necessarily mean bad.
I’m going to go to the run on Saturday with hopes of finishing and feeling great. And if I don’t, at least I’ll have another bib to hang on my office wall. I’m going to look at this professional opportunity for what it is…a lovely opportunity that will allow me to grow and possibly find great success. And I’m going to try to move forward in life with less regret over unfulfilled plans and with more of an open mind to all of the wonderful things that might come my way that were never imagined in a “plan.”
TODAY: What if I put less stock in plans and instead open my mind and heart to more experiences? What if when plans fall through I use them as learning experiences and move on without regret or great frustration?