I'm tossing my life's plans out the window. For dramatic effect, I'm going to light them on fire, blast "Chariots of Fire" and watch the ashes drift slowly to the ground. I'll only need the ringtone version since I live in a ranch, but the fiery ball of frustration will be something to behold nonetheless.
You see my friends, I need freedom from expectations. I've come to realize that the fewer plans I make, the better, because very few things actually turn out as I expect. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. No sir-eeee. I mean, I've attached a lot of high expectations to a lot of crummy plans.
In college I set out to be an International Relations major simply because I rocked a trench coat. Truth be told, I didn't actually take into account it was a white, patent leather trenchcoat, had massive shoulder pads and squeaked when I walked. But a spy has to look good, right comrade? But alas, I failed Russian, Mr. Gorbachev tore down that wall, and my asymmetric hairstyle grew out.
Later I planned to marry the gorgeously tan Australian guy with the dreamy accent. After knowing him for what felt like a lifetime but actually only three weeks, I packed up my VW and followed my love to California. Things didn't go exactly as expected. We relocated to Indiana, his tan faded and hearing "no worries, mate" began to give me nightmares. Turns out the dreamboat was an illegal and my penchant for heels made me unsuitable for a life on the run.
Even some of my thoughtful plans have taken a nose dive. Despite marrying a handsome attorney and counting on a life filled with safety and security, I currently find myself on the installment plan to cover my divorce lawyer's bills. And though I swore I would not turn into my mother (don't we all?), last Wednesday I heard myself shout, "Get your fanny back in that chair!" And just as I cursed myself for uttering those familiar words, I noticed a dish towel over my shoulder, at the ready for any spill!
I take this planning and expectations stuff to the extreme. I mean, I don't stop with my life. l'm expecting my three boys to marry orphans from foreign countries so I won't have to share them on holidays! I know. That's sick. I need help.
As I light the match on expectations for my future, how will I move forward? Will I be able to make plans without attaching expectations? Will I truly be able to experience life's moments as they unfold -- no matter the twists and turns? Can I stop fruitlessly trying to manipulate outcomes and have faith that I am right where I am supposed to be at this moment in time? Who knows? But William James, the father of American philosophy, once said, "To change your life: Start immediately, do it flamboyantly, no exceptions."
Fire in the hole!