The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Are You Ready to Change Your Plans?

English: Bower Hill Plantation, West Bretton. ...
Bower Hill Plantation, West Bretton. These gates were to the Bretton Estate. There are plans to change the designation of this footpath to a road. Bellavista Plantation to the left (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
-- Joseph Campbell,
American writer and mythologist

       One of the biggest problems with planning ahead is that there are always forces lying in wait to screw things up for us.  It might be the weather, a health crisis, or some other unforeseen thing that broadsides us unexpectedly.  Back-up plans are always advised, but sometimes there is nothing else we can do other than accept what has come our way and adapt in order to continue on with our lives.

        The alteration of little plans is inconsequential to us.  It's those big expectations that we formulate in our minds--plans for schooling, career, marriage, and family.    Dreams can be dashed or they may fade away, but when those dreams have  become plans and expectations we stride forward toward the goals we envision.  When a roadblock is put in our path, we have to make decisions.   We might even have to change our precious plans.

         Using marriage as an example, most who sincerely go into this union are unlikely to do so with the expectations that it will be dissolved in some matter of time.  The typical couple will probably declare a love for one another and, if traditional vows are recited, will declare that love to the world as well as the intention to continue that love until death separates the two.

          Over time people change and attitudes change accordingly.  There are times when the relationships are unable to weather those changes and the plans that were made or mentally assumed are disrupted.  Or even death can intervene to wreck the life that we were planning for the future.  A true permanency of human relationships is not something we can always count on.   No matter how strong our own sense of commitment might be, we might not be able to do anything at all to make things right as we see what we think should be right.

         The examples in marriage can be applied to any other plans.  Your job.  Your educational pursuits.  The aspirations of fulfilling your dreams.  We cannot write our lives in words that hold any guarantees.  Our lives are written with words of hope and not promises.   Change can come at any time in our lives and the inevitability is that life will change--everyday, sometimes in imperceptible ways and at others with feelings of catastrophic doom.  

          We can't change where we've already been, but we can make route adjustments if the road is blocked or our destination is changed.    If we don't keep moving forward then we aren't going anywhere.

          I'll be frank about my promotional intentions.  This post is a clue hinting toward my song choice for my Battle of the Bands post this coming Saturday November 15.   I'll admit that the song I'm using will be no piece of cake to guess, but the perceptive reader might be able to guess, especially anyone who knows this song I'll be using.   Here's another big hint:   The album the song originally comes from is named after a city.

            Do you agree with Joseph Campbell's quote?    Are you a person who easily lets go or do you tend to fight to the finish even if the battle seems hopeless?      Can you guess the song I'll be using in my next BOTB post?    The artist?

Tomorrow November 13th!  Big announcement at the A to Z Blog!    
Be sure to visit tomorrow and everyday!



  1. Boston? Yeah, not coming to me today.
    As for plans, all depends on whether they are our plans or God's plans.

  2. I just stopped planning. It's impossible. Life's ups and downs makes it impossible. Like in interviews when they ask, 'where do you see yourself in 5 years?' Not a clue. I never expected to leave the west coast and move back here. Never thought my ex husband was going to die. I thought I'd be out of debt now & have money saved, but children's needs & truck repairs shot holes in that plan. Now I don't bother thinking about the future at all. Nothing in my life has EVER gone 'according to the plan' so I've given up.

  3. Can't guess the song. I make plans but I'm pretty good at adjusting to changing circumstances. Having four kids and two step children has taught me not to plan too far ahead. My husband and I have been together for 32 years so that plan is going well.

  4. I watch the ripples change their size
    But never leave the stream
    Of warm impermanence and
    So the days float through my eyes
    But still the days seem the same

    (Turn and face the strain)
    Don't want to be a richer man
    (Turn and face the strain)
    Just gonna have to be a different man
    Time may change me
    But I can't trace time

  5. I tend to project and think ahead. A lot. But I quit making "plans" when I was a kid. I had parents who rarely followed through on anything so that taught me not to get too invested in things, especially things where other people are involved.

  6. Alex -- If we make plans that are not in God's will, then they are plans that are doomed to failure.
    Not Boston.

    JoJo-- I hear you and I can empathize.

    Susan GK -- The more people who become involved the more difficult it is to plan what will work for everyone. Congratulations on a marriage that appears to be successful--tough to do these days.

    Larry --The lyrics certainly are appropriate. What is the name of the album the song first came from? Is it a city? No matter what, "Changes" is not the song.

    Andrew -- We all have to make some kind of plans, but those long range plans can be difficult to manage. When a person stays focused and keeps everything in order plans can be achieved, but for most of us I don't think it works that way. Good to have plans, but best to be prepared for the changes in those plans.


  7. I take each day as it comes and go along with the swing.

  8. While sticking with the plan works sometimes, clearly being flexible is better. And, yes. If these plans are in God's will, then He opens the way.

    Someone once asked me if I ever thought of divorce. I answered, "Do you mean once a week or once a day?"

    John and I have grown up together, from the day we met in college.

  9. I try not to make plans. Avoidance prevents disappointment.

  10. I enjoy that quote not just like it. I still plan because it is a goal and more than half the fun is getting there. Have my plans been disrupted-yes! I can often go back to my plan but if i can't then it was meant to be and i find other ways to experience life. There are many things I can't do but why let it rain on my parade? I will adjust my plans to work for me and even if it takes a decade then so be it. If it is never was fun in trying. I have no clue what you might pick-maybe a song from Chicago?? Pure guess work on my part

  11. Lee-

    "Changes" first appeared on the Bowie album Hunky Dory

    I got in the habit in the last decade or so of not planning-my work life is so ruled by a calendar that I like my personal life to be fluid.

    The best laid plans of mice and men...

  12. The Bowie song is not my guess at your BOTB post-I long ago calculated the odds of my guessing one song from the hundreds of thousands recorded during our lifetimes when you started with the clues and decided it was far too long a shot.

    It just started running through my head while I read this post....

  13. Yvonne-- That's probably the least disappointing way to confront life.

    Susan Kane-- In my previous marriages I never expected that either would end in divorce. It was something I didn't have total control over though.

    CW-- In reality we do have to make plans sometimes, but going with the flow should be part of those plans.

    Birgit -- Chicago is an excellent guess, but that's not it. I like the philosophy you express about setting goals and making plans.

    Larry -- I kind of named the two artists in this post and the subject matter of the post is essentially what the song and album are about.
    Work is work, but off time should be off and free of constraints. Still we always will have some factors that will constrain us in everything we do.


  14. After having no choice but to drop out of college, I was under deep depression for a year. Life went on regardless, of course, but I still can't keep myself from entertaining the "might have been".

  15. I tend to not plan much of anything. I have things I'd like to do in life, but I generally don't make plans. When I really want something, then I'll start plotting, but I try to be flexible.

  16. While I am certainly a 'planner', I know you are aware that all of my plans have not always worked out. I guess I look at it as the idea that it's good to have direction and also good to be flexible. No direction feels aimless and I always want to challenge myself. Still I need to be willing to change or risk being too rigid and miss out on some of the best life has to offer!

  17. Life happens while you're busy making other plans ..I reckon it's important/sensible to have plans in place but also to know that they can be upended in a nano-second. We've all had those experiences. 'Expectations' is in my view one of those words to be struck from common usage .. how can we 'expect' to have a happy marriage, career, health etc ... we set ourselves up for disappointment. It's a loaded word ... we cannot sit back and expect ...
    I've got a song going through my head as I write - o, but I think it's the wrong one .. We built this city on rock 'n roll. No, I cannot fathom what the album is.. await keenly!

  18. It is true to say that if we're not prepared to make adjustments then life will seem a lot more challenging than it is.

    Happy to be part of the team for the 2015 A-Z.

  19. Jennifer -- We should never allow what might have been to interfere with what is and what can be tomorrow.

    Patricia -- Big interdependent plans are like building something with cards or matchsticks. One piece gets taken away and the whole thing can collapse. Flexibility is important.

    Jasmine -- Plans like promises are easily broken. It's good to be ready just in case, but proceed with plans with the goals in focus.

    Susan -- We should try to accept things rather than expect them. "We Built This City" is not the song, but I can see how it might have popped into your head.

    Joy-- Thrilled to have you on the team!


  20. I can change plans easier than I can change present reality. I tend to stay where I am, in whatever situation I find myself, rather than risk something new. Not always a good thing.

  21. That's a powerful quote Lee. Sadly, I don't like change and adapt very slowly. I'm getting better at letting things go and adapting to life's unexpected turns so there is hope yet. Could it be a question of maturity? In terms of marriage, when I was younger, I thought everyone would stay married forever. Now that I older, I finally understand how complicated relationships are and that over time things and people can change.

  22. LD-- The future is always so uncertain that plans seem almost arbitrary, but if we're comfortable in the present it's pretty easy to settle in and avoid any change. I'm kind of the same way.

    Buck-- Age and past experiences undoubtedly affect our acceptance of change--sometimes I think we get weary and just deal with it, not better, but with a sense of resignation and reluctance. When we're younger we are probably more malleable when it comes to change. But of course everyone is different in the way they handle new things in their lives.



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