Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Best Laid Plans

"The best-laid schemes of mice and men go often awry." Robert Burns

Ok, so I'm no lover of British poetry, and the only reason why I know this quote is because it was the inspiration for the title of one of my favorite novellas, Of Mice and Men, the longest Steinbeck work I have finished reading. Don't judge me. No other Steinbeck novels have been assigned to me for a class and I don't know anyone who has read The Grapes of Wrath for fun. But all this is beside the point.

I am frequently reminded of the truth of Burns' poetic statement. Take today for instance. My husband had to work in Indianapolis for the day, so since it is summer and we have the freedom to do so, the entire family joined him on the trip. I got to see former coworkers, one of my little sisters and my nephew (although it was only for a few minutes), and the kids and I got to visit with close friends for a chunk of the afternoon. The plan was to leave their house in time to pick up my husband and head home to Fort Wayne so that I could leave for Bible study ON TIME, which means before 7:00. That didn't happen. I finally believed that I could make it for the second half of Bible study when our daughter, following in her mother's graceful footsteps, tripped over her own feet and fell headfirst into the wall at the end of the hallway. So much for Bible study. Sure, I could have left my husband to fend for himself and comfort our daughter while also getting our son ready for bed, but my babies needed me and I wasn't leaving. Well, our son needed me while our daughter clung to her daddy for comfort. All this now brings me to this post.

I am a first born. In many areas of my life I am a hopeless perfectionist. Please do not look for evidence of that in my house. The drive for perfection has to stop somewhere and unfortunately that means that I am far from a perfect housekeeper. My dear husband reminds me that he did not marry me for my housekeeping skills, but I know it drives him crazy. It drives me crazy too, but at some point I give up. I'm sure this will be a focus of some future post. But I digress. As a hopeless perfectionist, I am a planner. While some teachers dread planning, I LOVE it. I thrive on it. But that has also meant a life of disappointment, disappointment that goes back years. In fifth grade I was desperate to both cheerlead and play basketball; my mom would only let me play basketball while promising that I would get to do both in sixth grade. Instead, we moved to Wyoming. Sophomore year after two years of planning to be in Jazz choir my Junior year and then discovering I had actually made it into the elite choir, I found out we were moving to Michigan where this would not be an option. And after a lifetime of planning to meet my perfect Lutheran churchworker husband in college and living happily ever after with him, I met this guy right before leaving for my Freshman year. This guy was not my type, and he certainly was NOT going to be a Lutheran churchworker. Less than five years later I married him.

But God laughs at me and then says "see, I know better." Honestly, I'm not a big fan of cheerleaders, although I know some wonderful cheerleading coaches and I have had many lovely students who have participated in the activity/sport. And while I still have many regrets about the last two years of high school, and yeah, maybe I was wallowing in my own misery, the move to Michigan meant a better education, being closer to family, and that guy I met and later married? We happily celebrated ten years of marriage in December.

That brings us to today. Yes, I am disappointed that I did not make it to Bible study. After all, this is the first time in years that I've felt I could do something like this. But was the day a complete bust? Nope. I spent time with friends and my kids, and did get most of my Bible study "homework" completed, and I still learned a considerable amount about myself, my faith walk, the book of James, and (dare I say it) Biblical challenges for certain Fox news pundits. I guess the lesson I learn on a weekly basis is that just because my fantastic plans "go often awry" it does not mean that those plans are a bust, they just need some adjusting. Lesson learned? Probably not.


  1. So...are you in the week of the James study that talks about making plans? 3rd to the last week...I think

  2. You need to read The Grapes of Wrath! I DID read it for fun and eventually taught it!! :)

  3. Monica, next week. Rachel, maybe that will go on next summer's reading list :-)