What do you do when your day does not go ‘according to plan’?
And how often, in a given day, or given week, does it not go ‘according to plan’?
It’s funny to me how we can sometimes be so scripted in our daily to-dos, only to sometimes have our thoughtfully, meticulously planned days thrown off by something unforeseen.
It could be a speeding ticket or fender bender. An unexpectedly long meeting. Spilling coffee on your white blouse. Forgetting to pack your after-work gym bag. An unforeseen random act of kindness someone did for you. Accidentally burning your dinner on the stove. A check in the mail. Leaving your billfold at home. Having your credit card information stolen. Getting a flat tire. Or accidentally locking your keys in your car.
In fact, the latter recently struck my day-to-day usual routine.
Life happens—and situations, such as locking your keys in your car often remind us, while we can definitely be well-planned, plan-A does not always work out.
Somehow, until most recently, I had managed to escape this inevitable ‘fate’ that is quite common for those Triple-A technicians nationwide.
Placing my personal belongings in my trunk, while preparing to depart one evening to keep on my busy pace of to-dos (running from here to there all day long), I slammed the trunk shut before I realized…my keys were in my purse.
My doors automatically locked, as they sometimes do, before I could open my driver’s side door to pop the trunk…and I was stuck.
The worst part?
My phone was on 4% battery left. (As in, almost ‘Castaway’ style here).
I immediately ‘phoned a friend’—as in Who Wants To Be a Millionaire speak—and, thankfully, she answered.
“I’m on my way!” she said.
Phew. Thank God for good friends. In the interim, I also managed to phone the Triple-A customer service hotline and they said they’d send a technician ASAP.
As my battery faded down to 2%–I realized (a.) how dependent I am on my phone (life line!), and (b.) I needed to stop and take a breath, because, life does not go according to plan.
Moments passed and my friend Lauren soon arrived, waiting with me allowing me to charge my phone a bit in her car as we awaited the technician’s arrival.
About 30-minutes later, Joe drove up, and a huge feeling of relief washed over me—the expert was here to save the day!
As we made our way up to my vehicle, he whipped out his super-handy-dandy-door-unlocker tool, and began to try to pop the lock to my vehicle with…no luck.
5-minutes, turned into 10-minutes, turned into 15…then 20-minutes. Wasn’t he supposed to show up and just magically open it?
“This never has happened before,” he said.
Life does not always go according to plan.
Five more minutes of trying, and Joe decided it was his turn to a phone a friend: his boss.
“I can’t get it open,” he said, on his phone to the side, trying to not have me overhear his conversation.
Five minutes later, he was at it again…and decided to try a new technique: Breaking into my car.
He opened it!
I popped the trunk, snagged my keys, signed my John Hancock on a dotted line, and handed him $10 for his efforts—well back on my way, about an hour or two thrown off from my original plans, but “back on track.”
As I drove away from my home, precious keys back in my possession…it got me thinking…while life does not always go according to plan—how do we ‘roll with it’, when things turn a different direction?
This does not just necessarily apply to one-time instances either—such as a flat tire, or locking your keys in your car.
It could be:
- Not getting a job you really wanted;
- Randomly getting a job offer you never even pursued;
- Getting rejected from your top college of choice;
- Not making the deal you wanted to make;
- Missing your airline flight;
- A longer line than usual at the grocery store checkout;
- Traffic (although that is to be expected);
- Someone canceling an appointment on you last minute;
- An employee leaving your business to start their own;
- A bad hair day;
- Not having time to workout in a day;
- An acute injury from stubbing your toe (I broke my pinky toe doing this one time!) or landing on a wrong foot;
- Not having control over the food served at a lunch meeting;
- Being forced or strongly advised to enter treatment for an addiction or disorder by loved ones in your life (even though you are initially opposed to it at the time)…
Gosh the list is endless, right?
And even though life does not always go according to plan…I honestly believe, everything, in some form or fashion, happens for a reason—and can shape us if we let it, and learn from it.
Can you think of a time, or times, that something did not go according to plan?
What did you learn from it? How did you grow from it?
Living each day one day at a time—rest assured, tomorrow will worry about itself.
Be present today, and everything is going to work out just fine.
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”