One of the things that I tend to resist is planning. While I appreciate organization and I know that making some plans is supportive, I prefer a more "freestyle" approach. It is a funny thing. We make appointments, work to stay on a schedule, have things going a certain way and then BOOM, life happens and things... change. This summer has been a continual affirmation that there is little that I know, even less that I am in control of and sometimes it is a total act in trust, faith and patience. It's been insanely FUN and challenging, all wrapped up together.
We were all set to head to radiation yesterday and got a call as we were on our way out. The "test run" for Pake's protocol didn't pass quality inspection. At 87% accuracy, they couldn't confirm that the radiation was going to go to the targeted area. This is his hearing and we are not willing to take chances or compromise his good auditory nerve. While it was an inconvenience, I also appreciated the specialist taking time to explain what was going on, what the process involved and why we were not able to move forward as planned. So what to do when things don't go as planned? How do we proceed when we are feeling really annoyed because what we had planned didn't pan out?
In all honesty, I was annoyed when I initially heard the news. We drove four hours to get to Omaha so he could begin treatments and now we don't have a set date. Hummmmm. There was that strong urge to shut down, be angry and frustrated. I know these reactions well. And... I recognized them right away.
I took a deep breath, I walked outside and sat on the porch. I took in another deep breathe and I listened. I listened to what "Michael" had to say. I listened to his words and his tone. He was apologetic and he knew this was an inconvenience. He was nervous about how I would respond and what kind of person he was talking to and.... he was doing his job. He HAD to tell me this information and he knew that it was out of alignment to even think of continuing until they could be certain that the calibrations were going to work as intended. I was deeply grateful for his knowledge and his willingness to take the time to explain everything.
How many times do we stop to really listen to and receive what people are sharing with us? How many times have we bitten someone's head off when they are simply doing their job or sharing their truth or just letting us know how they feel? Yes, my reaction one of being annoyed because the team was gumming up the works of MY plan...... oh my... I caught myself there. How can I be annoyed at them? Or anyone else? This is just how things go, sometimes they work how we want them to and... sometimes they don't.
I think when we have something in mind and it doesn't go as planned there's a tendency to stay stuck on what we wanted to happen. We're still "back there" when right in front of us are abundant opportunities. "Okay, that's out, so what's next?" Has been my next game plan. Sometimes I don't know the answer. I sure didn't yesterday. It worked out just fine. We had a great day, got a little "pampering" in (Thanks, Leah!) took Pake out for his new favorite dish (fried rice and chicken) and enjoyed great conversation and laughs.
We didn't limit ourselves because things didn't turn out how we wanted them to. We looked for and opened into what else was possible, what experiences and gifts were waiting for us since the ones we thought we were going to have didn't come through.
No one can say what is coming next. We can make plans and we can have some ideas, but really we don't know. That's part of living in this time, place and culture. We have to become ok with not knowing, which is scary for those of us that prefer the safety of routine, habits, patterns and boundaries. I'm not sure that the unknown will ever be really comfortable for me. I am shifting to look at the unknown as an adventure, an experience. I want to make the most of every day and my intention is to LIVE full on. To do this, a lot of my own beliefs and limitations are being challenged. This is not always comfortable and it certainly isn't easy. I can feel growth though and I feel myself changing from the inside out. I am constantly coming up against my own thoughts and beliefs and testing them to see if they still fit. Some do and some do not.
The other day I was going to wait to wear a fun outfit combination. My initial thought was to put this aside for a different, future event. I was just going out to lunch. (I caught myself here too.) Why wait? The cute shirt and skirt made me smile, shouldn't I wear them now? Today? Why was I making a future event more important than the present one, right here, right now?
Our lives are a serious of choices within each moment. There is no guarantee that we are going to pick the right choice. In fact, there may not be a right choice. What if it is just a choice? We make the choice, find out what happens and keep moving forward. I've lived with a lot of regret, guilt and second guessing. Growing up I had tons of anxiety over making the "right choice" the last thing I wanted to do was make a mistake. I now see that differently. We are going to make mistakes, we are not going to be "on" and hit the mark every time. If we are going to truly LIVE and experience life, we have to be willing to be ok with what happens after we make a choice. If we don't like something we can change it. Yes, we have to live with that choice but LIVING implies that we will also learn from mistakes and we will continue to grow. Some of the big mistakes that I felt I've made and beat myself up with at the time, proved to be some of the most beautiful blessings of my life. It's all perspective. It's how we look at the situations within the act of living, and still claim the sweet blessings that continually surround us.
I don't know what the rest of today will bring. I don't know how tomorrow or the next day, next week, next month will go. I always hope for the best, brightest and most positive. I continually look for ways that my journey can inspire and strengthen others. I have made the choice to LIVE right now, right here.
As for planning, I'll be writing down what I hope comes through. I am developing a rare talent for turning scratched out events into rare art forms and animal shapes. I hope wherever you are, whatever you are experiencing this moment as you read these words that you will make the choice to LIVE. Wear those fun shoes you've been saving. Cook that special meal that you've been thinking about. Tell the person you've been admiring how you feel. Look your babies in the eyes and tell them that they are beautiful gifts and how grateful you are for them being in your life. Take a walk. Make a positive habit change. Challenge yourself to find the good in even the shittiest situations. Speak your truth. Live from your heart, even if it doesn't make logical sense. Be who you are. Love yourself, love others. Share your gifts, inspirations, encouragement, support and gratitude.