The Life We’ve Planned

February 8, 2020-

“We must let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”-Joseph Campbell

Over the years, I’ve learned that planning, while it offers the benefit of a loose framework, is both preferable to chaos and inferior to serendipity.  In 2014, I overplanned my European journey, day by day.  When the opportunity of joining an American troupe at Omaha Beach, in Normandy, presented itself-I found myself turning it down-as I had a hotel reservation in Rouen, and didn’t want to sacrifice the night’s lodging.  It’s academic, as to whether this would have been a worthwhile sacrifice, as the night in Rouen was uneventful.

Of late, I’ve been going more with my deeper feelings-turning down jobs, when I sense that taking them on would not do the students any good, and accepting them, when I feel that I have something definite to offer.  The same remains true of leisure pursuits.  I generally roll with my gut, or with my heart, when deciding which path to follow, of a weekend or day off.  There was a time, a few years back, when I was looking towards a three-year Trifecta of through-hikes:  Arizona Trail, Appalachian/East Coast Recreation Trail and Pacific Crest Trail.  A strong sense that I needed to stay put, during much of the year, has borne fruit, during this period-2017-19.  As we’ve seen, I was on the road, anyway-just on a route that proved more beneficial to self and others-and let me serve this community, for 8-10 months.

The life that’s waiting for me, after December, is a cipher.  In the meantime, there are several paths on which I may find myself-with the anchor of this Home Base, a small group of reliable friends, and  several more, who are a bit more mercurial.  I have confidence that Dr. Joe was right, and that accepting the life that is waiting will be just as rewarding, if not more so, than what I had planned.

11 thoughts on “The Life We’ve Planned

  1. Hi teacher,

    it has been said that “when we make plans God laughs!” The only thing I plan are when I rest, when I see my doctors, and when a meeting starts, (usually I have some service commitment to said meeting). Other than that, I usually allow for anything and everything, because in my field, a request to be present, is always possible. Most of my day is open to suggestion, but there is a line I draw if necessary. I’ve learned in as many years that, if I plan too far ahead, long term plans usually never materialize.

    I never leave home base for longer than a weekend, and trip far a field are not usual occurrences. So I stay close to home base most of the time. That trip to Normandy would have been incredible, never say no to historical visits, you can stay anywhere, but a trip to a historical war location might be a once in a lifetime visit, if passed up, may never happen again. lesson learned I guess.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Teacher,

    All I know, is that when you get here, there is SOOOO much to see, and not have enough time to see it all, well! So figure this, 1. Indoor/Outdoor 2. Churches 3. Cathedrals 4. Green Spaces 5. The Mountain 6. The Entertainment District 7. The Old Port 8. China Town 9. Shopping Malls 10. Eateries … So many choices, so little time. how do you squeeze the life out of Montreal ??? ( the 5 P’s … Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance) My dad used to say that all the time.


    Liked by 1 person

    • I had a lovely, and very full, visit to Montreal, two years ago. I visited the Cathedrals and Entertainment District, as well as McGill. My focus, next time, will be on Mount Royal, particularly the Maxwell Home, and the Old Port.


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