My Life, Plan B (or what to do when life doesn’t go as planned)

I’ve blogged here before about my struggles with Seasonal Affective Disorder. I know there are some people who think S.A.D is bullshit, but guaranteed, those people have never felt depression like I do. Whatever. Anyways, before I get side tracked on a rant about that, I should get to my point.

There’s been a lot more than the weather that has been dragging me down. In no particular order, my worries include how to balance being a working mom with being a good mom, grade 5 math homework, keeping track of bank accounts, bills, spreadsheets, accounting, an ongoing health problem, stress at work, stress at home, sibling rivalry, not enough time in the day, global warming, war, famine, violence against women, and on and on…

Oh and there’s the seven years of bad luck I might be getting from accidentally breaking a mirror in the bathroom the other week. Not that I am superstitious, but with the way my life has been going, you never know.

On the right path? I'm not so sure about that.

On the right path? I’m not so sure about that. (an Inukshuk at Cherry Beach)

Life sure hasn’t gone the way I planned. That’s an understatement. I thought things would be different. As a kid, I used to think that life got easier as you got older. Now here I am pushing 40 and boy was I wrong about that. The older I get, things seem to get more complicated and every decision I have to make feels like the weight of the world.

Being a grown up is hard.

Sometimes it's good to look back on your past to understand where you are in the present

Perspective. Sometimes it’s good to look back on your past to understand where you are in the present

I’m sick and tired of complaining. I do have many good things going on in my life that I am happy about, planned or not. We just booked a two week winter vacation to a tropical destination in January. I can’t wait for that and I’m very excited about the photo opportunities this trip presents. I have two fabulous children who are funny, healthy and light up my day when I pick them up after work. I have a husband who works hard to provide a good life for our family. I have a good job and friends who assure me that I am not crazy for feeling the way I do, and that their lives also have not gone exactly as planned and they survived! That does make me feel better and not like a complete f#$% up.

I figure that instead of fighting this, and holding tight to my plans, the only thing I can do is let go and come up with something different.

So what’s my new plan?

“My Life, Plan B” is not a plan at all. It’s more of an intention. It’s an intention to let go of the tight grip on my big expectations, take things one day at a time, do what’s in front of me to the best of my ability, and trust that the blur coming up for me on the horizon will become clear to me and worthwhile when I get there.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Blurred horizon

Blurred horizon


237 thoughts on “My Life, Plan B (or what to do when life doesn’t go as planned)

  1. garrisonmi

    Ooh! I am so excited for you! I can relate a great deal. At 28, as a single mom feeling stagnant in my career, with a heavy sense of doom hovering over me (knowing that it was “now or never”), i packed, sold things, quit my job, & moved to central Mexico with my 13 year old! Today, 6 years later, I am STILL in central México with my own small new & used bookstore & Spanish classes for foreigners where I live, a 4 year-old Mexi-Gringa princess. Although I’ve been through hell and back, I still haven’t regretted the decision even once.

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  4. welshcyclist

    I’d like to ask, “who’s life isn’t chaos”? I’m 62 and the blur on the horizon ahead of me continues to worsen. We’re all far too up tight about how things should be in our lives, we have so much in the way of possessions, etc., to view and compare ourselves with friends, hero figures, and everyone else on the planet, that we are bound to fail. Looking in on ourselves is not the answer, relaxing, (or “chilling”, as one of the earlier commentators mentioned), stepping back and letting go, is the way. Your Plan B is a good stab at it, Hope it works.

  5. shilalekh

    your post has inspired me to think of a Plan B for myself….I’m 35 and my life has NOT AT ALL gone as per my plan….thanks..

  6. boldbohemian

    I am 62 and am on Plan G. It’s just life. Things happen sometimes that are beyond our control. We evolve and move on. Good luck and blessings to you.

  7. llzelm

    I am 69 and need a Plan B. I like your plan B. today I made an appointment with my first therapist. I’ll be interested to see how living day to day works out for you. Is it possible to do? For me, not so far.

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  9. Funny Southern Style

    I am right there with you. As a matter of fact, I said just the other day I am not where I had planned to be.

    I read this great F. Scott Fitzgerald quote that said, “For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you’ve never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a live you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”

    Great read!

    Charlie 🙂

  10. Annye

    I can definitely relate as a 50-something individual. A work in progress. Have made peace with my life and finally have started a plan b after years of trying to fit in. Scared, but excited nonetheless.

    Thank you for your post.

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  12. Shell Ochsner

    Beautifully written! As a working mom, wife, etc…. (You know) Life gets in the way and we end up overwhelmed with responsibilities that weigh us down when we honestly thought we would’ve been liberated. Good luck to you, and thank you for sharing such a touching story.

  13. ninayoung

    Age is just a number and all we can do is live, live live; it’s much better than the alternative. At age 40+, I have (as Charlie stated above in his quote) experienced the best and the worst, have seen and experienced things that startle, felt things that I thought I would never feel before or again, met many with different points of view and have lived through it all wide-eyed and proud. To date, I still haven’t gotten it all together, but I am here to ride the next wave, good or bad.


  14. intrinsicliving

    What I love about your post is that you demonstrated what life really is. It’s not all one way or the other. It’s messy, funny, sad, enlightening, frightening, overwhelming, full of love, joy and friendship. It’s life. Thank you for putting it ALL out there. Happy Holidays!

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  17. Susan

    Good for you. From one depressed blogger to another – you have a great attitude. My life has been……………….scenic – I always say I took the scenic route. But, you know, when your heart gets broken it grows back bigger. And the one thing I did learn, was exactly what you said, let go, set your intentions and steer the ship that way. You may be forced to take a different route, and that’s OK. “Cause you’ll get “there” – wherever there is, it will be the place you are supposed to be.

  18. maddy

    It’s amazing how simply you can put all this in words.. I am feeling pretty much the same thing, except I haven’t found words to express it.. 😐 all the best for the new year, hope you have a great one (planned or otherwise)! Cheers,

    1. callmeshebear Post author

      Thanks maddy. I think it was desperation that pulled the words out of me! lol

      My new outlook is changing my life already, I think. I have some more thoughts on this topic and will probably write another blog post about it.

      Wishing you all the best for 2013!

  19. blade3colorado

    Old proverb, “The happiest people always have a Plan B.” It sounds like you know that. Me? I basically try not to allow people, places and things – everything I can’t control – rent my brain. Or, at least not for long. HAHAHA . . . I’m human. Moreover, it’s a futile task. So, I concentrate on those things I can control, i.e., ensuring my attitude is positive and my relationship with God (or whatever you consider greater than yourself). If you really think about it – absolutely no one can take those two things from you, nor interfere with them . . . except yourself.

    Good luck going forward . . . Steve 🙂

  20. Vivien E. Zazzau

    Isn’t it maddening how people will break a nail and say they’re so “depressed?” Many people have yet to even begin to know the true meaning, or magnitude, of the word. Nicely said, and the photos are incredible!

  21. Shane Kaufman

    Great post. I read it a few weeks ago and it inspired me to answer a question that a friend of mine posed awhile ago. (Track 54 -Closer to Fine — if you are interested.) I hope that your intention is working out. I know that once I finally let go of all my plans, expectations and all the baggage that they entailed life just got so much sweeter. Good luck to you in your journey!


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  24. Prometheus

    I sure know about the seasonal effective disorder. In countries like Finland they sell special lights which create similar effects as the sunlight. Might worth a try 🙂

    I hope you’ll begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    1. callmeshebear Post author

      Thanks Prometheus.

      I do have a “Happy Light”, it’s a small one but it does the job. I use it for about 20 to 30 minutes each morning while I’m checking emails and drinking my coffee. It makes a difference in my energy levels.

  25. swellfloweringcultivation

    Loved it 🙂 and I understand: I am the same. Never heard about the disorter though… maybe I have that too.

    Good luck with the changes you want to make, I think we all expect too much sometimes… but you inspire a lot of people and that should be beyond expectation 🙂

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  27. adamlearmonth

    Sorry for such a late response – catching up on Freshly Pressed emails I’ve neglected over the year. Having a girlfriend with very probable SAD, I know it’s real and it’s horribly debilitating at times. That penultimate paragraph resonates most of all – taking it one day at a time works because “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives” (Annie Dillard). I hope 2013 has turned out well for you in the end. I love the photos too. 🙂



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