John Lennon famously sang, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans”.
For over a month, I’ve been wrestling with the pros-and-cons of ‘other plans’ while at the same time, percolating on the idea of “Plan B”. Is it a choice, a strategy or simply acknowledging failure on the way to figuring out another way to go?
While all that is bouncing around in my Soul, so is another piece of guiding advice I learned early on from an old wise head. Arthur’s voice has come back across the decades to help me navigate all the white water of late. Put simply, he said, “There will always be someone bigger or faster, smarter or something. It’s just how Life works and the sooner you realize you will never hold all the cards, the sooner you can get on with working the ones you do”.
Easier said than done, right? Arts’ wisdom is as true today as it was some 450,000 years ago.
As far as being a teenager in the Lower Paleolithic age, Torc was pretty average in pretty much every respect. Neither a scholar or star athlete, Torc found himself spending a lot of time in his room banging rocks.
Making matters worse, his friend Rorn was everything Torc wasn’t. Strong and fast, Rorn was always the first one picked in gym class. And whenever the fire went out, you can guess who was the first one racing out of camp in pursuit of the latest lightning strike.
“…(sigh) Not again.”
I’ll wager you already have a good idea which kid was usually the one returning with burning branches held aloft. Everyone cheered. Flame restored, there were going to be buffalo burgers on the grill tonight! And Torc? He’d groan (again) as he headed back to his room and his rocks.
John, Arthur and Torc are all trying to tell me something about Plan B.
This past week, I passed on a new job offer while I settle in to work my magic at work. Was I stupid to pass on a lot more money in favor of sticking to my long-range plan I’ve been working since November of 2015?
Coming up this month, Rick and I celebrate our 32nd anniversary and then a few days later, the 9th anniversary of his mom Elsie’s passing. I miss you Mom. Hold me close.
Next month I sit for the six-hour certification test at the center of last year’s time back in school. Since then, a lot of Life has happened that’s slowed me down when it comes to making other plans. But the dream was always there. How do I know? Why else would Doubt routinely ambush me? “Who are you fooling? Who are you to…” and on and on it would go.
Staying the course…
Life isn’t easy but that’s what makes it beautiful. I echo Sydney Harris: “When I hear somebody sigh, ‘Life is hard,’ I am always tempted to ask, ‘Compared to what?’”.
For all the toil, I’ve heard birds at dawn for the last week or so. My heart has wandered back to dear friends I loved and lost. But their power is resident in me. Even now, they each bring me a quiet smile in the present. Right now I’m listening to another old friend, Leonard Bernstein conducting Copland’s Appalachian Spring in my headphones. I never fail to melt about minute 19 into the concert suite when the old Shaker tune, Simple Gifts rises in the score. I realize that each of these are just as magnificent as the others and I’m lucky enough to be privy to them all. What is there to be afraid of? Paraphrasing Dr. Wayne Dyer, I am divine enough to ask and important enough to receive.
So are you.
Whatever it means to you, being a Child of God has its’ privileges. Simple physics dictates things are going to happen when hardnesses collide. I can only imagine Torc’s surprise sitting alone in his room that night, banging his rocks and seeing those first sparks fly! In that one prehistoric instant, he realized two things: 1) He’d never have to chase lightning again and 2) He was changing his name to Flint. For him (and for us), it was there all along.
So back to the beginning. Is ‘Plan B’ a choice, a strategy or simply acknowledging failure on the way to figuring out another way to go? Thank you Cosmos. I get it. I wasn’t failing as I wrestled, I was spelling it wrong. The wisdom? Plan Be.
PS: My artsy-fartsy acquaintances smile condescendingly when I voice these kinds of sentiments, but frankly Scarlet, I don’t give a…hoot.
As one traveling pilgrim to another, thank you (all of you) who have welcomed me around your fire. You light my path and warm my Soul. I’ve got a lot of rock banging to do as I study and not much more time to do it in, so I’ll see you next in late May after my test.
SIMPLE GIFTS (Shaker Tune)
performed by Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Krauss
What I wished I’d learned in High School…
Source: High School Teachers 100 Bits of Wisdom (Source) Blazepress: http://blazepress.com/2014/07/teacher-gave-students-100-pieces-advice-everyone-take-note/
Banner Coastal Redwood Forest by Eric E Photography is used with permission.
Plan B Watch (Source): https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-plan-b-company; John Lennon referenced the line in his lyrics in the song, “Beautiful Boy”: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/john_lennon.html; Other earlier attributions for the thought can be found at http://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/05/06/other-plans/ – Can’t help it folks, I am a card-carrying geek!
Ancient Teen Ager (SOURCE): http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/caveman-cold-case-watch-the-full-episode/1017/; Background on Fire: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_of_fire_by_early_humans – Specifically REF 15 on early appearance of fire in Europe [Preece, R. C. (2006). “Humans in the Hoxnian: habitat, context and fire use at Beeches Pit, West Stow, Suffolk, UK”. Journal of Quaternary Science. Wiley: 485–496.]. Also see A Brief History of the Universe (with timeline) by John Baez (August 28, 2012 – University of Californa – Riverside). Baez provides an extensive bibliography – see http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/timeline.html; Historical periods: https://www.thoughtco.com/paleolithic-study-guide-chronology-172058 and http://archaeology.about.com/od/temporalstudies/u/human_history.htm.
Sydney J. Harris: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/sydneyjha100945.html; Dr. Wayne Dyer quote: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/192916-we-are-divine-enough-to-ask-and-we-are-important; Campfire Caveman Style: http://www.eattheweeds.com/cooking-like-a-caveman/.
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