Sometimes things just don’t go as you planned. Then what do you do?
It is time to assess the damage. This is what you always do when unexpected things happen, whether it is a fire, tornado, earthquake, or a human-caused event.
Accessing the damage frequently means changing your plan, if not tossing the plan out. For example, your house is burglarized, and that requires looking at your home in a different light. You begin asking questions like:
- Do I need a security system?
- What was stolen?
- Why did the burglars choose my house, my things?
- What was the purpose of damaging my home as they took what they wanted?
- How come they stole my yearbook?
These questions are frequently followed by tears, yelling, and fits of anger. All these things are necessary but not where you should dwell. Remaining too long in this anger and grief stage will cause you to miss living your life and finding new opportunities. Accept that it happened and move to the next step.
Next step, a modified or new plan. As you look forward, you can rid yourself of some baggage that needed to go but couldn’t bring yourself to do it. Get help to clean up the mess and someone to talk with. Make improvements to your life. This new stage of your life can be exciting as you evaluate what you want going forward. That big box of high school memorabilia that you moved from one place to another is now gone. You have a whole shelf in the closet to use, the memories are still with you, and it could provide an opportunity to reconnect with these friends if you decide to find a replacement yearbook.
No one likes starting over. We are more comfortable with what we know, but sometimes we are forced to see new possibilities for our lives.
When facing a big project with many different facets, what do you do first? I’m big on making a general priorities list with very few details. I find the details become apparent as I go thru the project. (Same philosophy I have when writing a story.)
Soon I will start a yearlong adventure traveling across the country in an RV. As the plans for this adventure were first put together, there were many things to consider. Then as the plans were being made a surprise was injected into the plans that made it possible to start a year earlier than planned.
So now we must hurry up and decide:
- What to do with all the things we no longer need or have space for.
- Getting the financial side of living set up.
- What about the pets – can we take them with us?
And now, we wait for things to progress so we can leave. The biggest thing to be done is to sell our house. A house we truly love – it has been like living in a park for the last 8 years. As we wait for the buyer to find our house, the pressure builds to move on. But this waiting time has given us a chance to emotionally come to grips with moving from our house and selling off most of our possessions. And now we are looking forward to this adventure.
One of the questions that required a great deal of discussion was how can I continue to write while we travel. Details have been worked out and I’m seeing the future with a lot more time to write. Maybe I will be able to get busy on all the editing that is waiting for me. I hope to publish a couple more of my novels, pursue publishing some of my children stories, along with some freelance writing.
As I discussed my plans with my husband, partner in this adventure, he wondered aloud if I was allowing time for exploring our new surroundings. I laughed and said I was expecting to have more fodder for my stories.
So back to my original question, what to do first.