The Best Laid PlansParenting Blog Humor — By Jeff on August 28, 2012 at 9:35 am
It’s been a strange trip. Not a long one, not yet, but strange.
As a younger man, I had this vague image of the guy I’d one day become — a bit more than the batter up with bases loaded, full count, in the bottom of the ninth, game 7 of the World Series. We all do this, right, picture ourselves the hero; smiling, rich, and comfortable — the undeniable success?
As a kid, I thought I’d be a chef in a big city, single, and, well, that’s about it. My youthful noggin couldn’t extrapolate any further. Still, I had something in mind. Something involving starched whites, oodles of stainless steel, and a lucky spatula.
The best laid plains, and all.
I never wanted to be someone’s husband. A dad? Hah! That wasn’t on my radar. Hell, it wasn’t a certainty I’d ever do the thing needed to make a baby. Not with another person, anyway. That’s true, and I still haven’t seen a stork in real life. And that’s just the beginning of the changes I didn’t — couldn’t — see coming. An artist [cough], don’t be silly. Me? No, never. There are more subtle things too: soccer fanatic, swallower of pills, roller coaster rider, Ferris wheel costumer, runner, a dude comfortable lathering up with those fancy liquid soaps that have little beady things inside. Nope, nope, aaaand nope. How could I have ever known?
We all make plans, have dreams, and picture the way we think we’d like the future to look. But it is a futile exercise, fun, yes, like spouting off how we’d spend lottery winnings, but not much more.
The road we travel has many surprises in store — some good, some bad — with each putting a unique stamp on us that cannot be avoided or planned for. Since we’ll never be finished products as people, we should allow those stamps to mold us, to change us, and to inform our future decisions. It’s called growth. And it’s lovely.
I think that what I’ve learned most over the whole of my 36+ years, but even more specifically over the past 1/2 decade, is that to get the most out of life, to really experience it and have it affect us, we must accept the real possibility of a deviation in our grand schemes. Many deviations, more likely.
Because a straight, well-paved road is not only a terrible bore, it’s also pure fantasy.