A long-time friend and I recently took a beach holiday. Being a bit of a control freak I insisted we have a plan. She told me of an old Yiddish proverb: ‘People make plans and God laughs.’ We decided to not make plans and just enjoy the days we had. It was a good plan.
Often we think if we can just get our ‘ducks in a row’ then everything will go smoothly. We check things off our list, prepare for what is ahead, and breathe a sigh of relief. Soon it will all be okay. Of course life has a way of running in its own time seemingly unaware of our plans--things can, and often do change, in an instant. Suddenly our plans mean nothing. We know this, but like controlling time by putting it in increments we can cope with, we continue to make plans so that we feel in control. In the end it means very little.
I have been floating free for many months now. The wandering has been both cathartic and listless. Although there is nothing I love to do more than to travel, I also find not having a place of my own difficult at times. There is nothing better than returning from a journey and sleeping in your own bed. While I no longer own a bed, I have made a new life far away from what I have always known and I am content. It is now my home.
Friends and family that I left behind are still with me in spirit and Skype. Everyone is adjusting. I have finally let go of the thought that I have run away from home and my commitments. ‘It is my turn’, I told them. While they thought it was a phase that would pass it was okay, now that I have no plans of returning to my old life, they are not sure.
I ventured back for the holidays, a few brief weeks and suddenly everyone falls apart. How did they cope while I was gone? Is it a test—or just falling into habit? The manager in me says; go back, make them right, put the pieces together—they need you--then you can leave again. My gut says; no. It is time for them to learn to make their own way. Maybe they will do better without me. Why do I think that I know better?
I have finally learned that I cant fix everything. That plans, no matter how carefully made, change. I will continue to fumble on through my own life, and with love and long distance calls, I will support them fumbling through theirs. That is my plan and I am sticking to it.
I think I hear laughter…