Plan On It

I went from having the busiest year I could remember – from weddings to birthday parties to bachelorette weekends.

And now, they’ve been mostly cancelled due to coronavirus.

And although it’s a weird sensation, no one is more upset than the brides and birthday people. I feel horrible for them.

But in the beginning verses of “What Sarah Said” by Death Cab for Cutie, “Plans are just tiny prayers to Father Time.”

So, in a way, we are all just praying to Father Time that our luck doesn’t run out and we get to go to that wedding or birthday party. That we’ll have time to do the things we want to do – like write a novel or see our grandchildren.

The problem is that it takes a crisis for us to realize that we don’t have that kind of time on our hands. And all our prayers to Father Time could fall on deaf ears.

So, when this is all over, remember to hug everyone extra tight. All we are doing is sending up prayers that we’ll have time to plan things and execute them.

In this time, more than ever, we have to recognize when those plans fall apart that it isn’t anyone’s fault – just a prayer that goes unanswered.



To Know the Difference

Here’s a little secret: I’m a control freak. Yes, the lady that runs a blog daily is a control freak. Imagine that! And if you’re a control freak, you’ll know how hard it is to rein in the crazy. Which is why I take a lot of comfort from the following quote from Reinhold Niebuhr:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

 Because even though this little mantra has been adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous, I think it still rings true for everyone. A huge part of life is knowing when you need to give a little more and when you have done all you can.

My problem? It’s with that little, last line. “And the wisdom to know the difference.” Because how do you know? How do I know that it wasn’t me, or that it wasn’t meant to be? What if I deserve the blame but refuse to put it on myself? What if I did what I could but it wasn’t one of those things I could change? What if it was and I didn’t try hard enough?

I mean, think about it. When you took a test in school and you studied your butt off, but you still didn’t get a good grade, what did you tell yourself? Did you get angry and ask why you didn’t study more? Or did you say that there was no way that you could have studied for that test because it was hard? The age-old debate reformed: Was it nature or nurture?

And in reality, it was probably a combination of the two. But if you are anything like me, you are going to spend the next twenty years thinking that it was you…or that it was the test…or perhaps it was you…

So, that quote is really understated. You better pray for that wisdom to know the difference. Forget the courage or the serenity. You are going to need all of the intelligence you can get. Because that’s what is going to help you sleep at night.

But I guess in the end you simply have to do the absolute best that you can and then when you have wrung every drop from yourself and you still didn’t get what you want or it still didn’t work out, then you can ask the universe why it insists on being ridiculous.

And if that doesn’t work, you can do what I do: worry your life away about things you can’t change while being too paralyzed to do anything about the things you can. In reality, if you live this way for long enough, you really won’t know the difference.


Something everyone knows: not everything works out as planned.

Something everyone forgets: not everything works out as planned.

So, why do we still get frustrated when this happens to us? Why are we mad when we have to go to plan B? Why do we get so stressed out when we have to prioritize?

Because a large part of us still believes that the universe revolves around us. But a bigger part of us also thinks that the universe is conspiring against us.

And guess which one wins out? That’s right, the negativity.

I mean, think of whenever you have ever prayed for something to happen, wished for something to happen, wanted something to happen. Maybe you threw a coin into a fountain. Maybe you squeezed your eyes tight and pleaded for it. And maybe, sometimes, it did happen.

But many, many, many other times, it may not have happened as you were hoping it would. And how did you feel then? Shunned? Ignored? Defeated? Like the world was out to get you? Like you weren’t meant to be happy? Sure. But that’s not how you should be feeling. In fact, you should be at peace with your situation.

Take my own life as an example. All week I have been stuck in horrific traffic due to construction along my commute route. A relatively short trip has been doubled, leaving me with even less time to complete all of the tasks that I need to do when I get home. Now, like I said: I knew that the construction would be there, but somehow, it still frustrated me to no end that I couldn’t get on with my life as I planned it because of this obstacle.

However, I have a very different attitude now that I have experienced two weeks of this nonsense. I still get angry about it. But I am now calm when I get home. I know I won’t be able to get everything done, and I have to make sacrifices. Which is totally okay because I am not a  robot, and it’s time that I recognized that. 

And in the end, I found that it is completely okay to be thwarted. It is okay to not get what you want. It is okay to let people down from time to time. Because when this happens, you always end up exactly where you needed to be all along. The universe does not hate you. Just the opposite.