Golden Rule #27: Embrace Unexpected Change. I Know. It’s Very Hard.
I have learned every single one of the Golden Rules posted during this 31-day challenge. Most of them, I’ve learned the hard way. You know, not by just hearing about someone else’s experience, but instead, by living them in excruciating detail. Some come harder than others. This one, for me, comes very, very hard.
From the time I was very small, I liked to know what was next. I have a well-earned reputation as a champion list maker. I make lists of lists. My parents despaired of me ever progressing beyond some of those lists, I’m sure, but hopefully as the years have gone by, I’ve made some progress.
It took me a long time to realize, the goal isn’t to fit your life to the plan, or the list. Rather, the goal is to master the art of improvising, adapting, persisting, and overcoming. Bonus points for doing that with a good attitude!
I like plans. I really, really like plans. They make me feel so much better. But sometimes we get so focused on our plans that we don’t open our minds and hearts to the unexpected. Like this week, when I got to spend time with these people:
These are some of my favorite people on the planet: Hillary, Tim, Jessica, Marley, and Ian, with the incomparable Silo in Marley’s arms. We had a spontaneous dinner party at Tim and Jessica’s when Ian and Hillary (literally) flew in for a fly-in. Did we have time for a plan? Nope. We just (don’t groan) winged it. And it was perfection, from start to finish.
So. Plans, even the best-laid plans, can, will, and do change, without any warning at all. Does that mean you shouldn’t have a plan? No, not at all. It means, be willing to wing it when plans change. The best things happen that way, and sometimes we end up realizing, like I have, we dreamed and planned too small!
Copper is marvelous when it comes to changing plans. He adapts on the fly, of course, and is willing to change course midstream. He doesn’t pout or hold a grudge. He puts himself wholeheartedly into the new plan, and frankly, he makes all my plans so much better.
This is what happens when I plan to change my sheets…