Because let’s face it, they often don’t pan out how you expect them to. Sometimes things happen close but not quite to how you planned it, and other times it’s an unmitigated disaster. What I discovered yesterday is that having a linear plan isn’t always the best, because if and when things go awry, if you’ve only hedged for one outcome, that will leave you disappointed and unfulfilled.
Yesterday, I had to bring the hubby’s car in for an inspection, which in Pennsylvania is an annual event. I’m not going to go into detail there (it passed, by the gods I don’t know how but it did). The small parable I want to relate here is a much simpler tale.
While I was on my way to drop his car off at work and retrieve mine, I noticed that there was hardly any gas in the tank. No biggie, I’ll just stop for gas. Then a thought occurred to me: I don’t know what side of the car his gas fill pipe is on. See, if I were made the Grand Wazoo Dictator of the World I would insist, on pain of death, that every car has the gas fill port on the SAME GODS-DAMNED SIDE OF THE VEHICLE. I don’t care which one, just pick a side and that’s the rule, forever and evermore. But, I am not the Grand Wazoo Dictator of the World, not yet, and even if I were, I still have to guess and hope I am correct or I have to do that awkward “I’m a fucking idiot that doesn’t know where my gas tank is” turn-around in the parking lot.
Since I was in a calmer, more mindful place, though, I said, no, here’s what else you can do:
- You could go inside and get your coffee and look when you come out, then pull up to the pump.
- You could pull over now and take a look before you get there.
- You could not care if you make a mistake and have to turn around, it happens to everyone. Get over yourself.
I chose the third option, which proved to not matter since I was correct in my guess. The moment of clarity hit me as I was leaving, that if I allow for several possible outcomes, I have less of a chance in being disappointed, and also, that it’s okay to be disappointed sometimes. I got a huge break on the car inspection- I didn’t have to pay hundreds of dollars to fix anything, I didn’t have to waste my whole day sitting at the mechanics wondering if the car would be done by the time I had to go to work. I came home and worked on a song for a friend, and then I went in and worked. It ended up being a long, but good day, all because I decided not to expect anything from it, ponder the possibilities, and roll with whatever happened.
See you next year! (DURRRR HURR HURR DURR HURR!!!)