Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Living My Plan B

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for the Slice of Life. I can't wait to meet many of you at NCTE. I'm in for dinner Saturday night. YAY! Please join our link up here!

Think back to the you in college...for me that's over twenty years ago. What did you imagine for your life? When I'd dream of my life, it never looked like it does now. I'm living my plan B. 

Before I continue, I struggle with the term, plan B. I feel like it means second best. The leftovers. The dregs. Maybe I should quote Robert Frost instead and use the phrase, "...the road not taken". That's a poem I've always loved. I never knew that I'd be living it. 
 
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;        5
 
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,        10
 
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.        15
 
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
                 -Robert Frost
My road is certainly "the one less traveled by"...there are days I love that and days when I'd trade it for the first road. I always imagined I'd head down that first road...the one so many of you traveled. The road littered with families and children. 

On my road, I'm alone much of the time. I travel my way, on my time, at my speed. My success and my failure land on my shoulders. There's freedom in that. There's also loneliness. 

There's the obvious loneliness of living in a home without other people. The other loneliness is the one of misunderstanding. What I mean is so few people get to be forty-two years old and single and childless...and being in a boat where there are so few passengers can be isolating...scary...hard. There have been weekends when I spend two days and don't speak to another person. (Thank goodness for my dog, Bella!) 

Last weekend was one of those weekends and I struggled through it. I wanted to turn back and take the other road. It was there before me once...but to do that would be to ignore the beauty and joy that do exist in my life. I need to stop focusing on the line, "I shall be telling this with a sigh..." and start focusing on "And that has made all the difference." 

My plan B isn't leftovers, it's my plan. There are so many reasons why my life is amazing & a gift...

1. Kind, supportive, and loving friends
2. Family who loves me no matter what
3. Freedom to make my own choices
4. Time 
5. My career...I love my job!
6. Writing and reading whenever I want
7. Cheerios for dinner (sometimes)
8. My PLN!
9. Church family
10. My faith

When I think about my life choices, I have no regrets. I've made mistakes (I'm beginning to sound like a Barry Manilow song) but the mistakes and choices have led me here. Here is good. Here is joy. Here is plan B. 

I love my plan B!




Inspired by http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/12/29/whats-your-plan-b/

9 comments:

  1. I think I'm on Plan Z :)
    It's funny, as teachers we are planners, so I think that carries over into other facets of our life. I feel like many times God is saying to me "you're trying to control everything again. Here's a reminder you're not in charge."
    I'm hoping to be at the NCTE SoL dinner too. Hopefully we can meet up there!

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  2. Michele above - Plan Z - ha! Michelle, I love the line: "My plan B isn't leftovers...." God warns us against making our own plans, doesn't He?! He has His own plan for us, and it's more perfect than what we can imagine. You're living His plan, and it's perfect. :-)

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  3. I turn 50 in december...also single and childless, although I have my basset Hounds, Fiona & Lucy. Maybe this is Plan B: Crazy Basset lady! This isn;t the life I imagined or wanted when I was in college, but I wouldn;t trade it for the world.

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  4. Thank you for sharing this post Michelle. It is so relatable and real. I was married and now single and also feel appreciative of a plan B. It has been a blessing, but I know the feeling of wondering "what if". This is beautifully written.

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  5. Always so true and fully you. You don't hold back. No matter what you call it, your "plan" is quite beautiful. It can't help but be because you seem to refuse to be less than. People can seemingly look like they have followed the group plan but really should have taken another road. Does that make sense? Thank you for Robert Frost and your beautiful self.

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  6. I love that you use the Frost poem to speak of your life, Michelle, but I always thought that whoever is speaking in that poem took the road less traveled, meaning the best one, doing what was "right" for her or him. It's semantics, I know, but perhaps you should think about your plan as the one that's sweetly, beautifully yours? I love hearing your thoughts here, perhaps we all imagine different things in college, and like Michele above said, we're really not in charge. Thanks for your honesty!

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  7. Plans don't always work out...that's the beauty of life. I had planned on a wife and several children. The wife I have...and couldn't be happier. children never worked out for us. I believe that any road we take is part of Plan A. It might not seem it at the time, but usually ends up being exactly what we needed. enjoy your Plan A. I too will be at the NCTE dinner. Hope to meet you there.

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  8. I love that you used Frost's poem to depict the choices we make and how they impact our day to day existence. Those with full, busy, overwhelming, families with crying, crazy kids want to run and hide - at least some of the time and wonder about the path they took... I guess we all wonder "What if....?":

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  9. Whatever the road, it is yours to travel. You do get to make choices, and just because you have chosen the road less traveled does not mean it is the wrong one. Sometimes the back roads are filled with more beauty than the straight shot highway. No one ever really knows where life will take them. We just have to hold on with faith and let the dog lick our feet.

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