“It’s time my love,” said the voice that speaks softly and often to my soul. “Time to cut another tie. Time to make room for the new.” I hope you have a voice like this one. It didn’t come to me until later in life but I’m so glad it’s here.
I believe this voice chimed in because today, the Universe is putting me through a battery of tests—a pop quiz of sorts. But I’m Plan B ready, sweetheart. Bring it.
As I prepare for a call on the opportunity to ghostwrite what could be a fascinating memoir, my youngest texts me.
I might have gotten on the wrong bus. We’ll see.
As I continue to look up background material to prep for my call, I text back: Oh boy:). What number is on the bus?
I sigh and text back: Ask.
I’ll get off and check at this next stop. It might be the right one.
More sighing on my end: Wouldn’t it be more expedient to ask the kid next to you? Or the bus driver?
After several more back and forths, I get: It’s the right bus. Whew.
To which I reply: Right?! 😊
In what now seems like ancient history (read: several years ago), I would have flipped out, wondering how I was going to handle a call on this potential book opportunity while simultaneously rescuing my son from the other side of town.
Did I mention the water meter guys were in my house at this same time making a mess while my 90-pound Lab was in a barking frenzy in my yard? And that I’m beginning to write Major Study for Major Global Company today, with conference calls galore?
I’m sure you’re juggling your own plates at the moment. You know the feeling. Historically, I’ve made it look like something I’m good at while inside, my adrenals were on overload.
The difference now? Life experience. The Universe pummeling me into submission on Plan B. And sometimes Plans X, Y and Z. No matter. The fingertips that frantically clutched Plan A (MY plan, of course) have been rubbed raw enough that when Plan A feels it’s losing its love for me, I release it immediately from my clutches.
And realize it was not meant to be.
As gut-wrenching as that can still sometimes feel, it is always less gut-wrenching than fighting the Universe’s headwinds. I’ve learned to reverse direction when I must, letting those winds act as guideposts. The alternative is being bloodied and beaten by forces far stronger than I am—simply because I’m not tuning into what I’m being shown/told.
What I love about my son’s bus experience is that while he was rattled—“OMG, I got on the wrong bus. Where the heck is it taking me?”–he was willing to get off the bus and deal with wherever he was. He was willing to admit he might be headed for the wrong destination and change course. I love that, at a young age, he has been able to learn the art of Plan B. I have to believe that is due—in part—to what he has seen me learn and model over the past few years. God, I hope so. I’d rather that as his takeaway and not the moments when I fell apart.
The Plan B I’m living is not what I pictured years ago. Not even close. Divorced, a son in the military, working for myself, gaining weight due to a crazed thyroid—none of it remotely resembling what I saw as the bullseye or brass ring.
And yet, I’ve learned forces bigger and wiser than me show me the way, if I can just loosen my clutch on whatever dream I have in mind.
This week, I cleaned a closet I’ve cleaned a thousand times since my divorce. But this week, I’m compelled to jettison yet one more piece of my old life in a more complete embrace of Plan B. The large box that holds my wedding dress will (hopefully) soon be sent to a military bride in need. My son’s experience in Army basic training has given me a new appreciation for the sacrifices military families make—and it’s a little something I can offer in response to their stepping up for our country.
Does it sound silly that I held onto the dress for six years after my divorce? I guess I don’t care. I ran through all sorts of scenarios in my head for this dress. My future granddaughter might wear it. It could be made into christening gowns for the babies of my babies.
But on the heels of those imaginings came the blunt force realization: nobody wants divorced grandma’s wedding dress. In fact, my friends and I howled over wine one night when imagining how I might offer up the dress from a marriage with a tragic ending as a happy omen. “Here, honey—this dress was the beginning of the end but hopefully it will bring you better luck.” You get the picture. Let me say it again—divorced grandma’s wedding memorabilia is probably not tops on anyone’s list. Talk about bad juju.
Somehow, this week, I can imagine sending my dress off to a military bride. She’ll never know it brought anything but joy to its original owner. And I hope the joy she feels blesses it with a new life. It’s a beautiful dress and deserves more than to sit on my closet shelf as a sad reminder of how Plan A took a wrong turn.
Plan B is in full force. I can’t quite tell you what it’s taking me to, because—frankly—I’m not in charge. I may be the captain of this metaphorical ship, but I’m done sailing into hurricanes. I’m paying attention to headwinds, trade winds and any other gales the Universe sends my way.
In the words of my wise son: “Whew.”