I was going to start this blog by telling you about an encounter I had with a young woman who was desperately trying to avoid accepting an irreversible chain of events that was forcing her to embrace Plan B. She was determined as any woman could possibly be. She was smart, articulate, talented. She knew what she wanted was determined to not let anything stop her despite the irreparable, no win-scenario she was facing. She was surrounded a by support system who loved her and was limitless in every way, willing to help her shift gears and open her mind to new possibilities.
She’d have none of it. She wanted what she wanted and she refused to be distracted. It was a difficult conversation. Not because she, in many ways was awful lot like me in her determination. And not because her non-acceptance of the situation was obviously causing her tremendous pain and grief, for it was really starting to wear on her emotionally, physically and mentally. And the crazy thing was, as I watched her resolve start to crumble what I saw was not her desire to move on to Plan B, but rather her idea to simply give up all together. But the most difficult part of the whole thing was that she was my own daughter.
Here I have spent a huge part of my adult life raising kids to be strong, self-reliant adults, trying to teach them my philosophy of life. And not only did I impart that wisdom to my own kids but dang, if I didn’t make a career of it. And here I was sitting with my daughter as she struggled to accept the most basic of philosophical ideas; that life is all about how you handle Plan B.
Sure, she knows all my stories by heart. My kids call them lectures and have even jokingly numbered them, to “save time”. They’d hit me with, “Mom, don’t lecture me. Just tell me which one you wanna tell me and I’ll recite it to you”
So, you all know my Plan B lecture too. I wrote it almost 3 decades ago and it’s still true today.
Plan A is always my first choice. You know, the one where everything works out to be “happily ever after.” But more often than not, I find myself dealing with the upside-down, inside-out version where nothing goes as it should. It’s at this point the real test of my character comes in… Do I sink or do I swim? Do I wallow in self-pity and play the victim or simply shift gears and make the best of the situation? The choice is mine. After all… life is all about how you handle Plan B
But sometimes hearing your mom say things is not the same as hearing an aunt or family friend tell you. I can’t tell you how many times over the years I have whispered a thought into my friends’ ear and asked them to gently mention it to my kids. It comes across as a brilliant revelation to them and they more readily act on it than if it came from me.
Well my daughter is an adult and so I decided to stop messing around with all the covert conversations. I sat her down and gave her my newest Plan B lecture in an effort to talk some sense into her. After I was done, she stared blankly at me for a moment and then, through tears said, “That’s good, you need to write that down”
So, Ta-da! I did. And here it is in a nutshell and actually made it into my new 2020 Choose to Be Magnificent Calendar.
Maybe Plan B Was Supposed to Be Plan A All Along
It’s human nature… when things are spiraling out of control, we try to quickly manipulate everything back into place. When that doesn’t work, quite often our next move is to wash our hands of the whole situation and walk—or run!—away. It’s called “fight or flight,” and we are pretty darn good at it.
But wait! Maybe there is another option that doesn’t require the fight of your life or running way in survival mode. Maybe, even when everything is crumbling around you, all your hard work and energy are about to pay off. Maybe the set back you think you are experiencing is really a set up for something bigger and better. Maybe all it’s going to take for your dreams to take flight is to open your mind to the possibility of a Plan B, C, or even D…
All you need to do is let go of your expectation that Plan A was the only way forward… and then watch the magic happen. Because maybe, just maybe, Plan B was Plan A all along and it took all these adjustments for it to evolve into the magnificent version it was always meant to be.
The good news is, she has now embraced Plan B and is moving forward. Yay!!!!!