Life doesn’t go as planned

In life, most things do not go the way we planned. The car won’t start and you won’t get to work as early as you planned. The family get together is not as joyful as you planned. Or one day you realize you have been working at dead end jobs and not pursuing your passion.

As a young person, we dreamed of the life we wanted to live. As we grew, our dreams changed. Many of us have had several dreams or variations of a dream. When I was elementary school I developed a love for music.  I would spend all of my free time listening to the radio or playing records on my record player. I still remember my first forty five record. It was the Bay City Rollers song S.A.T.U.R.D.A.Y Night.

concert-6528270Music was my passion. I wanted to take voice lessons and be a Rock Star. I dreamed what it would be like to sing and be famous. It was exciting! That is until people made fun of my dream and told me I couldn’t be a Rock Star, it is not realistic, and they teased me endlessly. Suddenly I started to believe them and I was defeated by their taunting. And so I give up on the dream of being a Rock Star.

Then as a teenager, I dreamed of the man I would marry. He would be tall, with short brown hair, nicely trimmed beard and he would be a rancher. We would work along side each other making a home and business to support our family. We lived surrounded by the mountains and lived happily ever after.

The problem with most dreams are that we stop at the happily ever after. We think that if we get what we want, there will be no challenges to face. Everything will be hunky dory. Life will be smooth sailing from that point on.

Unfortunately, life can be difficult and very discouraging. Life does not follow our dream of happily ever after. Especially when faced with the loss of a loved one. The dreams for our future has died with them.  We are stuck in this empty space. The past is gone and the future is blank.

When life doesn’t go as planned, all hope is lost. At this point you have a choice to make. You can live a life filled with sorrow and regrets or you can rebuild your life and move forward with new dreams or a variation of past dreams.

How to move forward when things don’t go as planned.

Let go of the expectations. When life doesn’t follow your plan, you must give up your expectations. If you stay in the expectation, you will find yourself unsatisfied, disappointed with yourself and others, and you will become bitter and resentful.

Don’t allow others to put their expectations for your life on you. After a loss, your friends and family want to help you but the don’t know how. Often they will try to fix you. They start to put expectations on you. They may say things like, You need to get out and do things, You need to get over it, You need to move, volunteer, get a job and so on. They give advice so that they feel better. After all, they are “helping you”. But in reality it is about them. They are uncomfortable with your grief. They have not experienced this type of loss and it makes them uncomfortable to think about losing their loved one.

Learn to adjust your plans. So life didn’t follow your plan. Or maybe you didn’t allow for the unexpected to happen in your plan. Now what? Do you stay stuck in regret or do you make room for adjustments? If the family get together is not going as you planned, do you get mad and be miserable or do you adjust your attitude and go with the flow? Now that your loved one is gone, do you give up on your dream to travel or do you find a travel group?

When I met Richard he was everything I dreamed of, with a few exceptions. He wasn’t tall. In fact I was an inch taller. And instead of a ranch in the mountains, I got a farm hand on the plains. We never had our own farm or ranch. Instead, his career took him into the oil field. We did however end up spending the rest of his life living and working in the mountains. We did not get to do everything we planned for our life together. But we built a nice life for our family.

My life does not look exactly like my dreams, but it is a good life. I never became a Rock Star but I sang in the school and church choir. I have learned how to adjust my plans. I am building on and adjusting my dreams to create a life I want live. A life filled with joy, peace and contentment.

As always I welcome your feedback and questions. You can leave them in the comments below. If you like what you read let me know with a thumbs up.

Remember that you are not alone, I am here to walk along side of you.

Ethel

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“The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

 

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