Thursday, January 10, 2013

Scrapping Our Best-Laid Plans

Hendry's Beach, Santa Barbara CA - January 1, 2013

Like so many other people in the world, January sparks a yearning inside me to make plans.

I can't remember how many years I've been doing it now, but somewhere around the holidays, I sit down and create a big to-do list for the coming 365 days—just so I'm clear on all I intend to get done.  

The funny thing is, the plans always change. 

This week I was looking over last year's list—and my big plans to finish writing the novel I started and visit certain restaurants and save a chunk of money in 2012. It would be very easy for me to feel like a failure for not crossing those things off my list. But I know that in their place, some even more miraculous things occurred.

In fact, nothing really turned out like I thought it would at the onset of 2012. But as I enter 2013, I have a new house, new friends, and exciting new endeavors in my life that are probably more delightful and exciting than finishing that book or visiting that one restaurant would have ever been.

I was reminded on New Year's Day of how wonderful it can be when your plans fall apart. My husband and I were on our way to a beach in Santa Barbara with another couple when their car died. Neither of us had jumper cables, so we had to find an auto supply shop and drive in the opposite direction of the beach to go buy them. Needless to say, it wasn't how we had envisioned the day playing out.

But when we finally made our way to the coast, we were met with one of the most incredible sunsets I've ever seen. Had we gotten there earlier, we might not have stayed long enough to see it.

When leave wiggle room in our plans and surrender to the Universe's unexpected changes, we often get results that are much more spectacular than they ever would have been under our sole control.

I have to say, it was the perfect way to start out a new year.  

But I'm still going to sit down and make my list for 2013. Just so I have something to compare the wonderful twists and turns to in December. 

What unanticipated shifts in plans have left you pleasantly surprised lately? 


  1. Indeed. Sometimes it happens with a day, sometimes with a whole year.

  2. Lesley - In a way, I kind of think it happens with whole lives!