On Life as a Work in Progress

For what is I think the third week in a row (no, not looking it up, it will only depress me and waste time I don’t have) I am getting my Monday on Writing post up on Tuesday.

Sigh.

You know, all my life, I have been looking for the perfect system, the perfect plan.  I love a plan, me.  I love making a list and feeling like I know what is going on.  (Which, incidentally makes it a little weird that I started writing as a full-on pantser, but that’s a topic for another time.)

The problem is that my life resolutely refuses to co-operate with my careful plans.  On the day I plan to get five thousand words done on my WIP, my child comes down with some foul lurgy and I have to run around to the doctor and suchlike.  On the day I plan to start my brand new, healthy life plan, I wake up really not in the mood for the bircher muesli I so carefully soaked the night before.

So I have decided – not for the first time, it seems to be a lesson I need to learn over and over – that while plans are helpful, the biggest skill I need to cultivate is flexibility. And the most important attitude is forgiveness, both of others and, vitally, myself.  As life is constantly teaching me, time is precious.  Spending it fretting over time that is gone is time doubly lost.

It really is a lot like writing a book.  Having a plan saves time and helps provide direction but treating it as though it is written in stone is a recipe for frustration and a dull outcome.  Sometimes things need to change and that’s okay.  You just have to adjust the plan.  As a wise woman I know (Flylady, but that really is a post for another time!) is wont to say, ‘you are not behind; just jump in where you are’.

Now don’t snort!  Because even if you ARE behind where you’d like to be, the only thing you can do is jump in where you are.  The only place you can start from is where you are.

So, now, I’m going to go and jump in where I am on my other WIP – the book I need to finish.  Wish me luck and a co-operating life!

And you know, feel free to share whatever isn’t working for you.  I always have time for sympathy!

12 thoughts on “On Life as a Work in Progress

    • One can but hope, Sahbina! I do love that expression, because isn’t it true? I love that I have this little corner of the world to express my frustration and work on my flexibility. I’m thinking of taking up yoga again… 🙂

    • Thanks, Whitney! Sorry it took so long to get back to you. The week got even MORE interesting as it went on! That whole forgiveness things is getting a workout. Oh well! I’ll keep working on it and one day I might even be a grownup. 😉

    • Vital, sometimes Stephanie! I remember when I first read FlyLady’s saying ‘you are not behind…’ my perfectionist reared her head and said ‘but I am! There’s so much I should have done and haven’t and…’ But eventually I worked out that that is truly irrelevant. You can’t bring back yesterday. The only option you have is jumping in where you are, so you may as well do it with an attitude of moving forward rather than trying to catch up. I just wish I didn’t have to relearn it every so often! 😉

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