"We can't plan life. All we can do is be available for it" . . . . Lauryn Hill

There are some things going on in my life  right now that were definitely not part of the plan.  In fact, a lot of days I wake up and think, "Now wait a minute -- I didn't think it would be like THIS."  But as I've chewed on it, I've realized that most of us are probably in the same boat.

I'll bet if I walked up to 10 people on the street and asked them, "Did you ever think _______?" (filled in with a detail from their own lives, of course) 9 would say, "No way." And the other one just wouldn't have lived long enough yet.

Heck, just getting close enough to age 50 to stare it in the face once seemed impossible (unless I was looking at my parents)!

And intellectually I know that if you want to give the Universe a really good belly laugh, the best way to do it is to make a lot of detailed plans.

You can plan events, 
but if they go according to your plan 
they are not events.

-- John Berger

The fortune cookie gods must have understood my current mind-set when they planted this at my most recent Chinese food encounter:

Now come on, guys . . . even I know it's not THAT dire.

Russ and I were talking about all of this the other day, and the conversation drifted toward choosing a time we would go back to -- like if we could rewind to the place where we REALLY felt like we had control, maybe we could keep a tighter rein on things going forward and stay a bit truer to our course.

Problem was, we couldn't choose that time.  Finally we looked at each other and laughed, "This may be the best time!"

Unfortunately, that reminded me of THIS fortune that came out of a cookie from the same plate as the one I shared above:

This on a day when, unfortunately, my face was having a flashback to 7th grade.  Gee whiz.

Anyway, it was a great Hinckleyville weekend! 

Because it was a time to feel like I grabbed a little piece of something
I could understand and hang on to -- a shard of the original plan, so to speak.

As a dyed-in-the-chlorine swim parent, I spent YEARS in the bleachers watching all three of my girls practice and compete (you can't imagine how many vials of beads I've spilled and needles I've lost poolside -- sorry!)  The one who showed the most promise had her career cut short by health problems that seemed patently unfair and really threw a wrench into things for all of us.

And when the girls were grown and swimming ended, a big part of the family culture we had built suddenly got out of the pool and walked away with them.

So when that daughter whose health so unfairly sidelined her to the couch (for a long time!) was able to compete in her first triathlon this weekend . . . AND we were all there to watch in amazement as she accomplished tasks we thought had become forever impossible . . . AND I could hear the familiar shouts of her sisters and her dad cheering her on . . .

well, it was just a great moment.

It reminded me that yes, this is still my life, I'm still here -- and some great people are with me on this journey, no matter how strange or twisty the path may become. Which makes it okay.

 The Team Hinckley cheerleaders' reunion (with their reborn athlete)

It reminded me that life is good, 
even when it's hard.
Thanks, Universe . . . I needed that.



Leenie said...

I think you're right. These ARE the good ol' days, we're just not smart enough to appreciate them until they are in the rear view mirror.

I like your fortune cookie place. It sounds like it has a great sense of humor--not just spewing out bland platitudes and generic advice.

Hooray for the tri-athlete and her cheerleaders. I've chased tri-athletes around and am always amazed at such will and stamina. We've got some training going on around here for such events coming in August.

Judy said...

One of my favorite quotes: “For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin—real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something had to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.”
Alfred D’Souza

Pam said...

Congratulations to your daughter on her triathalon, and to all of you for being there for each other.
Highs, lows, the strong thread that holds it together is love isn't it...and yes, I think the Universe does have a chuckle when we make plans - either that, or it passes the tissues,right?
Such a happy photo of the Team Hinckley! Enjoyed your post Susan.xxx

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