Editor’s note: Todays article is from a special guest and friend that many of you know; writer, coach, artist and “do-er”, Shelley Krehbiel. She produces a newsletter that you can sign up for to get your own copy each week, click HERE to get on that list!
I have this thing about control. The more I prepare, the more in control I feel. I have lists, schedules, plans, and timelines. And then I have the Universe, and the Universe throws its own kinks in.
Yesterday was about control. I had a distinct plan. Up early, to work by 8, out by noon, grocery shop for mom, lunch, then complete three things on my computer, put the meals away, out of the house by 3, plane to catch by 6. Great plan; it worked perfectly. The only hitch appeared to be the meals arriving on time, and just when I was setting up a contingency, I heard the clunk of the box. I sprung into action and had it done just as my driver showed up to haul me away to the airport. Whew!
Plan executed to perfection.
But through that plan, I had two moments where I told the Universe that I was prepared for the unexpected. The first was putting my jammies in my backpack instead of my suitcase. The second, as I strolled to the check-in counter to turn in my bag, I thought, “I should take a picture of my bag.” You know what happens next? Of course, my bag stayed in San Diego while I flew on to Phoenix.
I had perfect order to my day, like clockwork, until the last minute. It was exactly what I deserved.
Life isn’t meant to be lived in perfect order. Sure, it’s nice to have some days line up with our expectations, but that’s exactly when the Universe steps in to knock us off our feet. But really, I set it up. I told the Universe I expected my bag to get lost.
If I had set up time for a mess in the middle of my day instead of planning and executing it all flawlessly, I would have had a different result. We’ve got to allow for the unexpected, the joy, the conversation, the laughter, the traffic. I love to observe life; I notice when the daffodils bloom, I listen when the neighbor speaks, I can hear the undertones in a conversation. I am in tune with nuances. I know better than to expect everything to run perfectly.
For years we have rejoiced in the unexpected; it is what makes the best stories; it’s also when we get to problem-solve. If everything goes according to plan, what story will you have to tell? Our best campfire stories are the ones we didn’t plan. The times things went off the rails, and then we righted them. Those are my favorite stories to tell. Create a little space in your day for the unexpected, be prepared for the messy middle, then a lost bag just seems like par for the course. Thank goodness I packed the homemade cookies in my backpack for a late-night snack!