I used to go crazy when circumstances out of my control messed up my plans: if I had decided to do something I felt it was cast in stone. I played a starring role in my little world and nothing was allowed to slip out of character. It was all me, all the time.
It’s a lovely, selfish way to live, but so consuming you don’t realize there is any other way – until all of a sudden you are an adult struggling to juggle more things than your hands can hold: a relationship, a job, and kids with complicated lives.
Then there are the stray animals that have limped into my life, the friends and family members who need time and help, and the faith in something bigger than me that I have been working to restore.
If you are anything like me, you soon find yourself running relays among your needs and those of everyone else in your sphere, until you realize one day that you don’t have time to be obsessing about yourself. And if you did? You are way too tired to care.
I’ve been psyched to go to New York this weekend, for example, to spend Easter with my family. The prospect of hanging out with my loved ones has sustained me after this long, hard winter. But now we can’t go, and while I’m disappointed, there’s nothing I can do. I can’t beat myself up about it – so my mind has jumped ahead to the next available opportunity to get people together, and make it happen. In the meanwhile, we will have a good time here.
Maybe it’s an evolving maturity that got me to this point in my life, where I can go with the flow. Or maybe it’s just the exhaustion. I can smash my head against a wall, or I can choose to do things differently. I can cry about it, or, as I’ve said to my kids so many times, let it roll off my back.
Being able to find peace with the change of plans, knowing that I am only human, and go along with life, instead of fighting against it, fits me these days like a comfortable shoe. And as Holy Week rolls around, it feels particularly poignant to be able to focus on the bigger picture instead of just the disappointments that affect me.