The Best Laid Plans

It is a running joke in our house that if vacation is coming, then so is an injury.

Or maybe an illness.

My son broke his arm before we went to Vienna on spring break. Do you know what sets off airport metal detectors? The support bracket in your wrist brace, that’s what.

I broke my foot the week the festival I’d been looking forward to started, and couldn’t get to the casting clinic until the following week. I did a lot of hobbling on crutches until I got my walking cast. That break also kept me from going to Royal Ascot, which is the British equivalent of the Kentucky Derby only hats and posh dress – including heels –  is customary. I did lose the walking cast just before our actual vacation, which included a lot of walking tours, but it wasn’t smart.

(It also did mean that until I was given a walking cast, I had an excuse to sit on the sofa with my foot elevated and read. So there’s that.)

Oh, and my daughter got chicken pox a week or so before we went to Disneyland. Luckily she had one of her two Varicella vaccinations, so it was a really mild case that cleared up right before we left. WHEW.  For her, that means there is one less vaccination for her to receive.

Needless to say, whenever life veers from “the plan” – be it something big like moving due to a new job or  just trying to get out the door on time to make a flight, this comes to mind:


The reality is, fate carries us in unexpected directions and we need to make the best out of what is handed to us instead of fighting it.

That work-related move from Illinois to Texas?

Daddy is happier and we see more of him because his commute is short.

Oh, and there is that thing about no sub-zero temperatures and no real snow to speak of.

Starting at a new school?

Look how many friends you made at your last two schools! This means more friends.

Sometimes, the best laid plans just don’t work out as expected. Do I think that God is laughing at all my plans? Goodness, no.

I do think, however, that where we think we are headed and where we are supposed to be going can be – at times –  two different places. And with that I know that I need to continue to work on my “go with it” attitude. (You thought I was going to say “let it go”, didn’t you? But I didn’t…Oh, wait. Yes I did.)

I AM still a super planner. I will research a trip or a school or an area to death, but once we get there…the planning mode is done. Sure, I keep a bag in the back of the car in case of emergencies (i.e., the girl who gets carsick) but I also know there is a 50/50 chance that the bag will have been taken out of the back of the car to make room for something and was not put back later.

All we can do in any situation is take a deep breath, toss the old plans to the side and focus on where the change will take us.

And you know what?

It might lead us someplace even BETTER.


Are you a planner or do you tend to wing it?
How do YOU handle change?


From Left to Write bookclub discusses The Mapmaker's Children - #FL2W

This post was inspired by The Mapmaker’s Children: A Novel by Sarah McCoy, which tells the story of the lives of two brave and resilient women, linked through the years by a porcelain doll.  Join From Left to Write on May 19th as we discuss The Mapmaker’s Children. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes. This post also includes affiliate links.


  1. I used to be a planner, but after becoming chronically ill I’ve learned to wing it!

    • Any illness will definitely upset the apple cart, so I can imagine you become a lot more flexible when dealing with a chronic illness! Great insight! Thank you for sharing!

  2. thienkimlam says

    Wow! Remind me not to make big travel plans with you. LOL.

  3. Definitely a planner, but starting to wing it more as I get older. This year’s craziness with the broken collarbone is a contributing factor!

  4. (it ate my comment before – hopefully this one works!)

    I am definitely a planner by nature, but the older I’ve gotten the more laid back I’ve become. Getting better at winging it! 🙂

    • I’m working on winging it more. There is much less stress if you can tackle life from that state of mind, I think.

  5. I’m a planner in all thing EXCEPT vacations. That’s the one time I let things go. I buy a plane ticket to some place, book first and last night hotel and figure out the rest as I go. I love that I’m still able to do this. It’s meant some of my best international travel, meeting new people and great experiences.

  6. You know me…wing it all the way!

  7. hahaha, so true! I plan out my life like nooo other, but have definitely gotten a little better about accepting that it will likely never pan out completely the way I envision it to! Life is a lot less stressful when you learn to roll with the punches! :]

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