A Somewhat Disorderly Life

“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” ~John Lennon (Beautiful Boy)

Isn’t there a saying that if you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans? I used to make lots of plans, right down to the tiniest detail. He must have thought them really funny because the majority fell through, and even the ones I followed through never actually happened quite the way I planned. Fortunately, we are unable to see into the future and know the bigger picture. I am so thankful that many of my plans did not come to fruition.

I seem to function better flying by the seat of my pants than sticking to an agenda. Well, I actually like having a rough idea of what I am doing, but I don’t like having to adhere to a set-in-stone schedule. The strange thing is that I used to lives by lists, rules, and schedules. I wanted someone to tell me where to be and what to do. I liked knowing what I was up against in life. It gave me comfort. I felt responsible. I didn’t like what I called the feeling of floundering. And yet, some would probably consider me to be floundering through life these days. Daily, I am met with requirements and expectations, but if they fall out of order, I just go with it. It doesn’t do anyone any good for me to get my panties in a wad over it, and it certainly won’t help put order back in the day.

I don’t think anyone has ever been as disappointed in me as I have been in myself when I have not met self-imposed expectations. I’ve heard that one must manifest their dreams if they want them to come true. My problem is that I really don’t have one concrete dream. Well, yes, I enjoy writing, but I do it for the pleasure. I did want to finish the nonfiction book I was working on until I allowed myself to be put off by an agent’s opinion. No, she didn’t even look at my manuscript. She was on the receiving end of my ill-prepared book pitch at my writer’s conference last year. She didn’t listen…she actually stopped me and asked me if I had a PhD to which the answer was a most definite no. She then told me that unless I was a celebrity such as Oprah or had the proper letters following my name, that a nonfiction book based on experience would never sell. Ok, I could have steamed myself with negativity and desire to prove her wrong. What did I do…I still steamed myself with negativity for a few days, and then decided it was my cue to drop the book idea. So, maybe you call it surrender, but I realize that just because I think something is a beneficial idea that the rest of the world might not perceive it as so. (And after all, an agent’s job is the secure work that she/he feels is sellable.) I figure if it really is a dream, it has not died. (Trust me, I have NOT deleted my files!) I’ve considered picking up one of my fiction manuscripts and starting over, and as my friend, Ev, suggested I can always incorporate my material into one of my characters. Of course, with work I suppose it is possible, but I don’t know if I really want to do that. I don’t want to lose the pleasure of writing. I can write this blog without limitations. I can write when I want, as often or seldom as I want, and about what I want. So, maybe that is my dream. Maybe, I don’t need a hardback cover to encase my dream. Or do I? I must add that I have never aspired to be famous in anything I do. I like my life just the way it is. Yes, I am somewhat complacent…yet I am malleable. However, what I want most from anything I do (writing or otherwise) is not to entertain others but to help them in some small way, even if only to make them reflect their own choices on their lives.

Sometimes, life does not always go according to plan. You must be flexible, willing to take a different route, or to even pick up and start over. I used to flip out if things were out of order or did not go according to my plans. Somewhere along the way my balance has shifted. I have handed over control, and am enjoying the ride. After all, most of us had retirement plans, and most of our 401K’s took a nose dive last year. Our trip out West this past year was a prime example of having to step back and reevaluate situations. First we got locked out of our car in the middle of the wilderness. Well, ok, I depended on God and Dirt Man to get us out of that one…and they both delivered! However, we did have some major hikes planned, and then Dirt Man injured his leg. Fortunately, we had a Plan B and Dirt Man had lots of Google Earth knowledge stored in his head. I’m sure we’d have had a great time on those other hikes, but we were able to experience a vast amount of territory that we otherwise would not have covered. I say life is to be lived not just managed. My point is that if we get too caught up in the negative emotions of disappointment, we fail to appreciate was is right in front of us. We neglect to live in the moment. And you just never know…that one moment might just end up being the best one of your life.

53 thoughts on “A Somewhat Disorderly Life

  1. Hi Suzicate. I stumbled upon your blog via a comment you left over at Jesswords10. I really enjoyed this one and can relate to it. Regarding your non-fiction book idea, maybe that agent was right, maybe not. I don’t know what the topic of your book is, but if you have experience or expertise in something that others would find useful, you could always self-publish. Maybe even blog about the topic to build an audience while you finish the book. Sometimes having an audience in place helps you to get a book published. Don’t give up. After many years of writing novels, I finally had one published. But you should see the stacks of rejection letters I accumulated. I have a long way to go before I master this writing/publishing/blogging thing, but I do know that I’ll persevere. I hope all your dreams come true.

  2. Acceptance of the “what is” makes life infinitely easier. Shaking our fist at the sky rarely stops the rain from falling.

    Like you, the journey of writing appeals to me . . . with or without the destination of publication.

    • Shaking our fist at the sky rarely stops the rain from falling. _I love that, so true. My destiny might be to write a blog, nothing more…and I am content with that. I have published small things, poetry and essays…but then again one must send things out continuously which is a lot of work, I’d rather just write!

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  5. I think you should submit your book idea to other agents. There are a lot of books out there (nonfiction) that are not written by academics / or celebrities. For example, “The Sweet Potato Queens Book of Love”. That has been a smashing success.

    You are a very talented writer and I think you should certainly continue in your quest.

    • I try to keep a good perspective. I am human, and I get down at times as well, but I know that He knows what I need much better than I do, so I just trust. Blessings to you as well.

  6. The God advice I was given was to never say “never” .. because God will say “Oh, really?” … and bang, you are blessed with your “never”. Remember that Garth Brooks song (a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOXim5ZmSKc”> “Unanswered Prayers”? I agree, some of the best gifts we are given are the unanswered prayers and our plans that don’t work out.

    Flexibility is a great attribute to have … Life seldom goes exactly as planned (ie: my weekend was all flipped around) and that is not a bad thing. You are right, the only way to live is to embrace every moment … even if it is not what you planned .. in the end, it might actually turn out to be better than you planned.

  7. So true. I’ve been thinking about this during the week. There is so little we actually control. When we make the mistake of believing we do, it causes us stress in the long term. Being flexible is so important. And it’s harder than one would think. I must work on this!

  8. As you know, I love and enjoy ALL your posts, however this one in particular hit me straight on. So much of what you shared here rings true for me as well….

    “I seem to function better flying by the seat of my pants than sticking to an agenda. ”

    Meeeeeee too!

    “I’ve heard that one must manifest their dreams if they want them to come true. My problem is that I really don’t have one concrete dream. Well, yes, I enjoy writing, but I do it for the pleasure.”

    Meeeeee too!

    I”ve learned one very important thing about life and manifesting my dreams.

    “life does not always go according to plan. You must be flexible, willing to take a different route, or to even pick up and start over.”

    I too have handed over the control, and am enjoying the ride.

    So, just keep doing what you’re doing, Suzi. Because as far as I see it….you’re doing exactly what needs to be done to manifest your dreams.

    Surrendering to them, and allowing them to manifest THROUGH you!

    FAB post, dear lady!

    X

    • Thank you for your endearing comment, Ron. I love hearing how we are alike…helps me not feel so alone! I think sometimes I forget that just because I dream of something it does not make it my life purpose…as well we have many purposes in life whether it is one we choose or not.

  9. “I don’t think anyone has ever been as disappointed in me as I have been in myself when I have not met self-imposed expectations”

    Amen, with a huge capital A, to that, my friend. I think I am too self-critical, which has blocked my path to many opportunities. I’m hoping to break those barriers.

  10. I still pretty much like order and rules to follow in life. I’m not a fan of projects where I have to create and design the whole thing. I wish I was less linear!!!!

    That ticks me off that the agent was so dismissive with your book idea, but I’m glad that you haven’t written it off completely. If the mood ever strikes, it’s there!

    In the meantime, I am so glad you’re blogging!!!!

  11. ” I must add that I have never aspired to be famous in anything I do. I like my life just the way it is. Yes, I am somewhat complacent…yet I am malleable. ”

    I really love this. It’s like you pulled those words out of my head. Which is exactly why I love your writings. They help me in a great way. So, thank-you, for always being true to who you are.

  12. So true. I’d much rather live life as it comes than having to have every minute planned out for me. I have rather enjoyed the last year of kind of taking things as they come daily. Maybe sometimes have a loose plan and seeing where the tide takes me! I think you should do whatever makes you happy!

  13. I agree that detailed plans are pretty much useless. I had a job several years ago that wanted me to write up my five-year plan (where I wanted to be in five years.) I couldn’t do it because if I set my course in stone, I could miss other paths that I was supposed to follow. Of course, I couldn’t tell them that, so I just made some stuff up that sounded good.

    I hope you continue to live life, and write whatever inspires you at the time :)

  14. I’ve been feeling the same way about my art. I’ll just continue working on it, and if my best friend is the only one who wants my paintings, then so be it. I’ve gotten to the point myself where I try not to make a lot of plans for the future, but my calendar at the moment says otherwise. :) No expectations = no hurt feelings!

  15. Thanks Suzicate, this was a wonderful post! It’s so nice to hear that I am not the only one struggling with over-planning my life. Even better is seeing how you’ve managed to overcome it and live in the moment.

  16. Wow, can I ever relate to your writings on this. Fabulous thoughts. I once was asked to describe life in 6 words. They were:

    We plan.
    God laughs.
    We adjust.

    So my motto now is, “Blessed are the flexible for they shall never get bent out of shape.”

  17. Suzicate, you are a talented writer and I am impressed with the versatility in your writing. I have a friend who loves collecting rejections. She submits her work everywhere and the rejections don’t bother her. She sees it as effort to get her work out there. She has been published in over 60 magazines and is currently pitching her novel. Try again, my friend. I believe you will have that nonfiction book grazing the shelves of a bookstore.

    • Rudri, you are very kind. That is awesom about your friend. Rejections aren’t as painful as they used to be. Submissions takes a lot of time, and I feel like I have to make a choice between actively seeking submitting and writing…and I guess I choose to spend my time writing.

  18. Aahhhhh! You said it, “if we get too caught up in the negative emotions of disappointment, we fail to appreciate was is right in front of us. We neglect to live in the moment.” So true. Not always easy to do, but when we are able to not get caught up we usually are not disappointed.

  19. “My point is that if we get too caught up in the negative emotions of disappointment, we fail to appreciate was is right in front of us. We neglect to live in the moment. And you just never know…that one moment might just end up being the best one of your life.”

    LOVE THAT!!!!!

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