I spend a lot of time on pinterest. You may have seen another version of this quote already. I see so many sweet little romantic quotes about life and love on a daily basis, that sometimes, I just have to roll my eyes. Most of the time, I am mentally altering the quotes as I go. Like so.
When I see this quote, I think of Brigham, my sweet and endearing husband…who I knew and was friends with for about a decade before it occurred to me that I was actually attracted to him. Like so many other things in life, 10 years ago I had something else in mind when it came to potential suitors. My plan was to date and marry a hot surfer intellectual entrepreneur guy who could raise my cool-factor by at least 10 points. I even took up surfing for a few years to try to improve my chances. Of all the dozens of guys that I dated in my single years, ironically, the surfers were either the first relationships to fizzle out, or never begin. Eventually, after much stubbornness and tantrums, I gave up plan a and started embracing plan b: ‘who the h knows so, okay Lord, I will be open to anything.’
After a few years of successful relationships that turned into (now) friendships, a few complete fails, and a few “I don’t think this is the right fit” life experiences…I was completely ready to stop trying. It was then, just when I was physically in the act of throwing in the towel on dating and dive into new professional commitments, that Brigham re-entered into my life and lit it up. I remember being skeptical at first, of losing my last remaining male college friend, but also feeling a powerful sense of sunshine and warmth emanating from him — and then, as if a ton of bricks fell right on my head, right after our first date I had the most powerful impression that I would regret letting this one slip by. Here was something I had not ever considered, aka plan b (actually the Lord’s plan a) delivered right on my lap, during just the right season of my life that Heavenly Father knew I would consider it seriously. So, at first I acted on faith and consciously overlooked some of the things that otherwise turned me off and decided to “give him a chance.” (Of note, Brigham also did the same with me.) Two and a half years later, I am a happily married wife to the most caring and considerate, handsome husband on earth who ‘lets me be me’ and I could not be more grateful. Heavenly Father knew what would truly make us happy, and has given us each other. It has been a labor of love, nurturing our relationship, but more rewarding than anything else I have ever experienced. Certainly infinitely more rewarding than all those misguided attempts to pursue the surfer type in my younger years.
‘plan b is the new plan a’
Ever heard the quote “—- is the new black”? That is what I think of when I think about making life plans. My dad always says “Life is what happens when you are busy making plans.” Plan b is definitely the new plan a for my life. Thanks to my experiences of dating and church mission, I don’t even make plan a’s anymore because I know that it will probably not work out. If I had a list of things that didn’t go my way in life, it would be a mile long. I have learned that “plan b or whatever” all the way is the way to stability and happiness (at least for this period of life) for me. Is that totally sad? Sometimes I do feel that it is, but on the other hand, why be completely attached to something that could, for all you know, never work out the way you imagined? What if you have a child that is developmentally challenged? What if you can’t find your dream job? Do you just stop being happy?
A wise man once told me “You can be strong like a rock or strong like leather, but only one of those materials cracks when pounded with a hammer.” Flexibility combined with strength are attributes that can really serve you well not just in dealing with unfortunate circumstances, but also for accomplishing all your goals. Flexibility gives you that added edge in rerouting after detours or obstacles, back to your central goals.
This topic has come up a lot lately in my life, because (since we’re all friends here) my husband and I are trying to get pregnant. We have been trying for 3 months, and coincidently, for the past 3 months I have not had a menstrual cycle. Great news, right – I must be preggo then? Nope. I have tested negative on about 10 pregnancy tests, and I can’t even keep track of an ovulation calendar because nothing is happening. For someone who has been blessed with no health issues whatsoever in life, it has been an interesting experience to not have my body functioning as normal. I finally went to the dr. who told me that occasionally women skip cycles and that it is not a bad sign, but no, I am not definitely pregnant. Fortunately, I also received a complete clean bill of health in the woman department and so I am sure it is only a matter of time until we are blessed with a little one. However, the past three months have given me a twist I never anticipated. During that time I confided in friends excitedly that there could possibly be a bun in the oven. When I let them know recently that tests have been negative, they were very compassionate and almost concerned about how I was taking it. Then they were surprised that, given how much I was baby crazy lately, I wasn’t really let down. Some of them have struggled with infertility, so they were especially sensitive. Their interest and sincerity really touched me, but my attitude remains the same “I have no idea what is in store for me and that is OK, because it is in the Lords hands and I know he cares”. At which they respond “wow, that is a good attitude.” While generally, it is true that we hope to have many children someday, as it currently stands, I don’t know the specifics of that plan and I do know that the Lord cares about our goals of starting a family, and that really, this is His plan. I have chosen to embrace it, and will be the grateful recipient of whatever He decides to bless us with. In the mean time, our other plan b is to prepare for the future and live it up while kid free! (because I know that one day, I will miss these days and sleep-filled nights)