Advertisements
Tag Archives: Plans

Stop Signs

22 Apr

When we’re out driving around we sometimes we come upon stop signs.  When we reach one, no matter how much of a hurry we’re in or how empty the road ahead appears, we need to stop.  We don’t have to stop for long but we have to stop completely.  If we don’t think anyone is looking and we don’t see other cars around, if we’re in a rush we might just drive through.  Unfortunately we can’t see everything and if a police officer sees us disregard the sign, or an unexpected car is suddenly in front of us, our delay working out the complications may take a lot longer than if we had only stopped to begin with.  Stop signs are important and although we need to stop when we come upon them, we don’t have to stop forever.  It’s for just a moment and then we can proceed forward.  Sometimes in our lives we reach situations that cause us to stop.  They might be unexpected developments or disappointments, changes in our plans, or events that stop us in our tracks.  If they are far reaching, when we stop for them we might feel we can’t go forward again.  But no matter what stops us, even if it’s extreme, it’s not permanent.  We can take time to adjust to the situation, review our options, and find the way forward.

When we’re going through our days and getting things done, we don’t want anything to prevent our progress.  We know what we need to do and want to complete it with the least resistance possible.  But we don’t live on the earth alone and are subject to all kinds of outside forces all the time.  Other people’s decisions may impact us, unforeseen developments may arise, and even the weather can stop us in our tracks.  We can’t predict anything and when complications arise that prevent us from going forward we have no choice but to stop.  But just like stop signs, it’s not a permanent stop.  We can come up with a new plan, find a new path, and continue on.

If we’re stopped by a situation that is completely unexpected and disappointing, after we stop we might feel stuck.  We may be hurt, or confused by something that’s happened, or our plans may have gone up in smoke.  If those plans were very important to us, it can be hard to overcome the disappointment when they are no longer viable.  If we think the original plan is absolutely the only way forward, we might come to a full stop and have no idea what to do.  But there is no one way to do anything.  There are always options and if we allow ourselves to explore all possibilities, we will find an alternate way forward.  Nothing in this life is permanent.  Everything changes every day.  Even if what we really want is no longer possible, we can adjust and find another way forward.  Our lives are important and we can manage anything that comes to us, even stop signs.  There is nothing strong enough to hold us in place forever.  We have the power to keep moving and choose another road.

Today if something has caused you to stop moving forward as planned, take a moment to think about your options.  There are lots of other roads right in front of you and you can make them yours.  You already know where you want to go.  Choose another path and start again.  There isn’t anything you can’t do.  You will find success on any road you choose.

Advertisements

And so it goes.

8 Apr

Sometimes things don’t always go the way we plan. There is a saying, “If you want to hear God laugh, make plans.” We’ve all experienced times in our lives when we’ve made what we thought were good, tight plans, only to see them go horribly awry. Sometimes things just don’t work out. Everything in life is fluid and that is constant, which seems to be an oxymoron – fluidity is constant. But it’s true. We can’t predict what other people will do, we can’t predict what will happen, we can’t even predict the weather with any real surety. So we plan, and we hope that those plans will go the way we want them to.

I just returned from vacation. Vacation, as I’m sure you know, is a time when you’re supposed to relax, have fun, change locations, spend time with people you love, laugh a lot, recharge…those sorts of things. Yeah, well my vacation didn’t exactly work out that way. I planned this vacation because my job was very stressful and I really needed a break. I was tired and overworked, overwhelmed with all my responsibilities, and I really, really needed and wanted a week to kick back, and have fun.

I did change locations, and went to a beach to spend some time on the shore listening to the waves, watch the dolphins cavort in the surf, walk in the sand, feel the ocean breeze – all wonderful ways to spend the days. But the camaraderie of friends was sadly missing. Oh I went with friends and a relative, and had high hopes for lots of fun. But instead of fun there was tension, instead of relaxation, there was stress. Unfortunately, one person in our group was unhappy in her life, and you know that old saying that misery loves company? Well, she evidently made it her mantra for the entire trip. I tried to keep things light, because in a situation like that it doesn’t help to confront, and escalate the problem. I listened with patience to the complaints, accepted the criticisms with grace, and made my way through the week. It wasn’t all bad, and there were moments of peace, but it just wasn’t the fun I had hoped for. It wasn’t the break I wanted, and it certainly wasn’t the respite I needed. At the end of the week I was relieved to finally say goodbye and go home. When I got home I was exhausted, and wished I had never gone on “vacation.”

So, sometimes things don’t go the way we plan. Sometimes they don’t go well. Sometimes they go horribly wrong. But no matter what life gives us, we can choose to get bogged down in the mess we find ourselves facing, or we can take a breath, wait a moment, and choose to look up and be the light. My trip was not fun, but I’m happy that I chose to be the light while there. It wasn’t easy, but I knew if I let myself fall into the mire of the discontent of others, it would be worse. At least if I chose to be kind, to be supportive, I could feel good about myself. So with each rude comment I smiled and said something pleasant. With each complaint I listened with patience and offered a positive suggestion. I tried to be an example, and I tried to show acceptance and love.

We all have the choice every day to be the one to make things better. We don’t always have to defend ourselves, we don’t always have to point out where someone is wrong. Sometimes, we can let it go, and just set a higher example. This life is a gift. Every single day is a gift. It is best to rejoice more than complain, to comfort more than confront, to love more than to judge. Today when things go wrong, when you hear complaints, when you find disappointment, try to keep it in perspective. It’s not the end of the world as we know it, it probably won’t matter in a few days, and everything will be different tomorrow. Fluidity is constant. Look up. You got this.