It’s OK When Your Life Doesn’t Go as Planned

Snoopy and Charlie Brown


My friend Lisa Frederiksen over at posted the above picture on Facebook yesterday.  I think she grabbed it from Buddhism’s Facebook feed.

The photo’s caption resonates with me because the last six weeks have not gone as I planned and that’s okay.

The best-laid plans

The line from the Scottish poem by Robert Burns, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” is so true, isn’t it?

There’s also a ditty from recovery rooms that goes like this, “I plan and God laughs.” Lest you think I’m over-reacting or even being silly, try making a decision on June 1 to move from one house and then taking up residence in another house six weeks later which was three days ago.

Oh, and for three weeks in the middle, my sweetie and I house- and dog-sat at our home away from home.  If you picture a triangle, place each house at the three points–each one about 25 miles from the other.

Looking at houses, buying furniture, selling furniture, packing, AND one vehicle (mine) going on the fritz.  Oh, and working too, when we weren’t dozing in the pool (hey, this is a full disclosure post).

There were few days in the past six weeks that went according to MY plan.  I’ll let you in on a secret, though.  The days that were good days were the ones when I said first-thing, “Okay GUS (God-Universe-Spirit), I’m pretty sure I’m gonna mess things up today so I need you to lead me where you need me.”

3 things we did right

Moving when you’re part of a couple is a tricky thing.  I won’t tell you the entire time was without sharp words and a few tears shed, but we came through not only intact, but pretty damn good, thank you very much.  We did three things right.

1.  We respected our individual packing and unpacking processes. One of us is methodical and completes a small area (or box, in this case) while the other is more, shall we say, “creative.”  One of us has more pronounced control issues–yes, it’s me!

2.  We took care of our bodies.  Let’s face it, moving is much easier for a 30-year-old body than for a 50+ body.  As little as a few years ago I might have muscled my way through by carrying too-heavy boxes.  This time, I gave myself grace and let my rational self remind me that I have degenerative disc disease and that I’m under ongoing chiropractic care.  I heeded my limits and paid others to do the work for me.

3.  We knew when to say when we needed to stop.  As I’ve aged, both in recovery and in biology, I’ve learned to give myself grace around letting myself stop.  Take a break, take a nap (usually on a heating pad) or plop in front of the television for a mindless hour or so.

Stick a fork in me. I’m done! Gone is the frenetic pace to finish; instead I surrender. @bheretoday (Click to Tweet!)

There’s a fourth thing that’s been on my mind throughout the last six weeks.  It’s grace; giving ourselves permission to be good to ourselves.

Why in the world would there be any other way?

Photo courtesy of

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  1. So glad your move went well, Beth. I moved about 10 years ago after living in the same house for 20 years and raising my three kids. Yes, there was a lot of stuff as well as junk to get rid of first before the move. A move does push you to your limits, so I’m glad that you took care of yourself. It’s always nice when the boxes and furniture are in the new house and you can unpack at your leisure. Enjoy. It looks really cute!

    • Beth says:

      Thanks, Cathy! You’ll have to come visit. It’s so quiet and peaceful compared to where we lived in a busy urban area. So enjoying our down time–which of course means being better able to work!

      Hope you’re well!

  2. Suzie Cheel says:

    I love this and that has been my week and wrote about being grateful for it yesterday, thanks . I am getting ready to move so thanks for this

    • Beth says:

      Oh my gosh, Suzie, I will send you lots of soothing white light for your move! It’s really not for the fainthearted! But, I’m so glad we’re in our new place because the energy here is wonderful–perfect for creating. I wish the same for you. Thanks for stopping by; I appreciate you!

  3. Hey Beth! Well, it better be okay when life doesn’t go as planned – because that’s so often how it all goes down. Right? And so if we aren’t dialed-in on going with the flow, we’re going to find ourselves in a nasty way. I like the way you and your sweetie handled the move. Seems like you opted for flexibility and allowing the chips to fall where they may. And you pulled it off (in spite of temptation to control?). “Giving ourselves permission to be good to ourselves.” That’s where it’s at, for sure. However, even after giving permission, we need to make sure we know how to be good to ourselves. Practice kinda’ helps. Thanks for this perky piece, Beth…

    • Beth says:

      Perky, huh, Bill? Thanks for saying so! I guess being good to ourselves is kind like getting to Carnegie Hall, right? Practice, practice, practice . . .

      Hope you’ve enjoyed a stellar weekend!

  4. Hi Beth – oooohh, I love “GUS”!! I hadn’t heard that before, and will be using that a lot now – thanks!

    One of my favourite quotes is from John Lennon (who I still miss, after all these years) – “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”

    And I have a wonderful spiritual teacher who often reminds me that ‘Everything is purposeful” – even when I can’t see it in the moment. I do invariably understand that later, lol!

    Thanks for a great message!


    • Beth says:

      Hi Candace! So glad GUS resonates with you–I’ve heard that a lot! I love your teacher’s reminder that everything is purposeful. I am so good at telling others that we don’t have the 30,000-foot view of our scene, but it’s so hard to remember that myself!

      Really, really glad that we’ve connected!

      B Well!

  5. sherill says:

    Hi, good to hear that everything went well in the end, i guess GUS had it all coming your way, most of the time, life doesn’t really go as planned but who cares, GUS is with us. Thanks for sharing,

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