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An out-of-state friend and I text back and forth. Setting a time to call and discuss a book we were reading.
(Which of course, often turns into a catch-up-and-gab time. Oh, and let’s-talk-about-the-book before we hang up time.)
We decide to call tomorrow. 2:00
Tomorrow arrives, and after looking at my calendar that morning, I remember the scheduled chat. I even remember once again as I was eating lunch.
Next thing I knew the sun was setting, I was cleaning up dinner plates, and 2:00 had clearly come and gone.
It wasn’t the first self-made plan that hadn’t taken shape at my house. Nor will it be the last.
I know this fact – that plans can fail to turn out as planned — as deeply as I know my name. Time and experience have instilled this in my mind multiple times over. (As if I keep forgetting it and need to be reminded yet again.)
I texted my friend. “Dear me!!! I think we both forgot we were going to talk today at 2:00. Oh well! Life!!”
And I could almost hear her laughing an hour later when she texted back.
Life has a way of educating us. Smoothing us. Calming us. Providing perspective.
If this had happened in my earlier days, say my 20’s. I would have been horrified I forgot to call. Embarrassed and worried when she didn’t call me. Stressed that I had somehow given her the wrong impression of me or my intensions. I may have even worried it into a shape bigger than a bread box and asked my husband’s opinion. By bedtime, I would have worried it into the shape of an empty room complete with a trapped rhino.
And this I know for a fact. Rhinos are not good bed fellows. They keep you up with all their moving and leg kicking. And then their horn is pretty sharp, so you have to be careful of where their head is located, in relation to you.
By the first light of dawn, I would have had blood shot eyes from lack of sleep. And convinced myself that I was now facing a mini crisis.
I do not miss those sleepless days where I doubted and mico-analyzed myself and life.
Nope, I have told that rhino to sleep elsewhere. That the bed is to small for him to sleep with me anymore.
Yup, after life educating me over and over with anything and everything not going as planned, and still the world not collapsing in on itself like a black hole sucking me into another dimension, I am much calmer and am able to take things more in stride.
At least most of the time.
Because I am done with churning stomachs and stress and worry turning into a downward funnel that sucks my joy into nothingness.
Well, at least most days.
And if I catch myself soon enough, the rhino is only a squirrel.
In the big scheme of things (and life), it probably doesn’t matter that much.
That’s what I have learned over the years.
After many mishaps and things going zig and zag, instead of linear as I planned in my Day-Timer and brain. I have realized that most things don’t carry as much weight as I initially think they may.
What things? You may be asking?
Not getting dinner made.
Forgetting someone’s name and calling them something totally unrelated.
Babies shooting things from both ends onto my clothes.
Showing up a day late for a birthday party.
Tossing the unopened Amazon box out and the garbage team collecting it before I remember.
Forgetting to bring food to the potluck.
My son’s bird pooping on a guest.
My child having a meltdown during church.
Being late. Being early. Not even showing up.
Not getting the bible study lesson read before the meeting.
Burning dinner minutes before company arrives.
Forgetting to call my friend at 2:00.
Yup. Things like this happen to most people. (Even if they don’t admit it.)
This is all just part of life. (Or at least my life.)
The benefits of perspective.
Finally learning that life rarely goes as planned, but instead takes detours and crosses mountain passes without warning, has its benefits.
I am calmer.
I can laugh at myself and life more.
I can save my energy for more important things, like that afternoon nap.
I can just breathe and let it go.
And I try not to base my worth on what I do or don’t do.
I have also leaned grace and compassion for myself and others. (Because I see their life not going as planned sometimes!)
Yup, if your kid has a meltdown in swim class, I am more sympathetic and don’t judge. I think, hey, I can relate. And will probably toss you a smile and words of encouragement. Because I have been there.
That’s the great thing about the Life of Experience. It slowly chips away and changes your perspective.
You begin to take yourself and the detours of life a little less seriously.
And that’s a beautiful thing.
Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.
This post first appeared on TheresaBoedeker.com