I was having coffee with a networking connection this morning. In the course of our conversation, we touched on the topic of personal life journeys. Specifically, we talked about how life has a way of never ending up where we think it will. So many of my friends and clients have said, “Wow, I thought I was more in control! I never thought I’d end up here!”
Here being divorced, separated, unemployed, relocated, in a career completely different than their college degree/training, with an empty nest, caring for aging parents– the list could go on and on. A Facebook friend of mine shared a quote the other day that speaks to this phenomenon– “If you want to make God laugh, plot out a plan for your life.”
It’s human nature to want to be in control. We find comfort and security in knowing what comes next in life, whether that’s our paycheck or our relationships or simply the “next stage” of life. In fact, the vast majority of us map out our entire lives based on those plans. We expect to progress smoothly from point A to point B to point C. Tell me, dear reader, has it ever gone that well for you? (If it has, please tell me because I’d like to know your secret!) We mistakenly think we have total control over it all.
Then what are we to do???
If your life is anything like mine, then you got sidetracked somewhere between A and B and found G before you ever got to C. Our life journeys are rarely a straight line between two points on the map. Sometimes those unexpected side trips aren’t any fun. But sometimes along the way we discover that missing point C wasn’t so bad after all because what we found is better than what we had originally planned.
But that doesn’t mean those side trips aren’t stressful. (An earlier blogpost of mine talks about good stress and bad stress.) So make sure you are practicing good self-care during those times– meditate, talk with friends and family, exercise, eat healthy, and consult a professional if you’re struggling for an extended period of time.
I’m reminded of a Garth Brooks song from several years ago, “The River.” Here are a few of the lyrics:
You know a dream is like a river
Ever changin’ as it flows
And a dreamer’s just a vessel
That must follow where it goes
Trying to learn from what’s behind you
And never knowing what’s in store
Makes each day a constant battle
Just to stay between the shores…
And, I will sail my vessel
‘Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I’ll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
‘Til the river runs dry
And if you’re curious about how music therapy might help, contact me for more information. I’m always happy to help!