It is never going to be what you planned

If there was one thing I hope to teach my kids about life, it is that life will never go to plan or be what you had imagined. Remember the days when as kids we dressed up as doctors, nurses, teachers, firemen, gymnasts, ballarinas etc and we played and pretended what life would be like?

My sister and I would spend hours turing our bedrooms into school rooms to teaching our dolls and teddies. I remember the photos of me in my Dr Snuggles T-shirt, pretending to be the dentist, and digging in the mouth of the, poor well natured and ever obliging, little girl next door. The grocery shop we set up, or the tea parties we held, pretending to be fancy ladies. We dreamed of a happy life and great careers. We imagined the nice houses and the loving partners. We had the perfect wedding in mind with all romance and the joy. Even boys, who might not dream about the wedding, often think of being married one day and maybe having kids. We imagine growing old, and all in all, life going well. While we might, like Caleb, have high hopes of being a Lego Scientist or another less realistic dream, actually most of our thoughts are just about a normal life, a happy existence in which things go to plan. With enough fun moments to have made it great.

One of the hardest lessons, as a adult, is that it never goes to plan. In reality we know bad stuff happens but somehow we feel immune to it. I never in a million years dreamed that I would have a failed marriage at 31 or that I would have kids by different dads, it is neither good nor bad, it just did not enter into my thinking. I never imagined I would lose my faith and feel freer than all the years before. I did not know it was possible to feel heart ache so deep that it leaves you unable to stand or even breath. I did not realize that at times I would be the one causing the pain or that some relationship are so different from what you both planned but yet they are so important that you could not imagine not having them. The notion of having a gun in my face and wondering what bullets felt like, was not something I had bargained on. I knew I want to be a parent but I was so ill prepared for the unbelievable highs, the moments of joy that feel like your heart might actually burst, and in contract, the times when parenting is so hard and so frustrating you wonder why anyone does it at all.

And it is not only me, I never imagined I would cry with my friend who’s 2 month old baby died, that my friend with the near perfect marriage would be faced with a brain injured husband. That I would laugh until my face and sides ached over a butter dish, and that having pink hair would help me connect with a stranger about leaving a bad marriage and finding yourself.

That said I never thought I would have pink hair!

This is a strange world and life is a crazy, wonderful, hard and beautiful. Never to be take for granted but not possible to be planned. Just live each moment the best you can.

Did your life go to plan?

6 thoughts on “It is never going to be what you planned

  1. It didn’t. And quite honestly I struggle with that – some days more than others. For now I am taking things one day at a time.
    Great post.

  2. I don’t think that I will ever get immune to bad stuff happening. It’s always so traumatic to me, whether small or big. I hate life and can’t wait for Eternal life one day with God.
    You’re right. Life is never what you plan or expect it too be. I don’t think that a parent can ever prepare a kid to be prepared for it either.

  3. Julia: strange how we know on some rational level that things can never go the fairy tale way we planned, but damn I was shocked when things did not eve turn out the version of ‘normal’ I had imagined. It is difficult to get used to

    Blackhuff: I know we have different views on the after life but I really think there is a way to make the most of the time here. In my mind it is all we have so we might as well make it awesome. I am sorry you are feeling so sad though

    Tara: The journey is by no means over, excited to see what is next. I am sure it is nothing I could imagine as so far I seem so way off in what I thought

  4. Well put. I think it is important to teach your kids this lesson- more about flexibility and resilience, rather than feeling sad about how plans changed. Later, they can start to understand injustice and sorrow and unfairness of life.

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