When your plan fails...


On Saturday I decided to take my pup, Annie, on a hike.  It was a beautiful day and I was itching to get outside and get some exercise. About two miles from home an alert came on my dashboard, something to the effect of "immediate service required" with a red exclamation point and the battery symbol lit up. I'm not much of a car person so in these instances, I like to do what I'm told, especially since I didn't want to get stuck up in the hills.  I pulled over into a parking lot and started calling some mechanics.

This is a time when I get a little homesick for Denver, where I've secured a trustworthy mechanic, a good dentist, a hairstylist who "gets" me, etc.  It's challenging to start over in a new place, to find new "go-to's" for services.  And of course, it's a Saturday, so the likelihood of my car getting worked on was slim-to-none anyway.  I spoke with a few people who suggested it's most likely my alternator and I needed to wait until Monday.  So Annie and I got out of the car and headed home on foot.  Plan B.

A side note here also has to do with getting to know a new environment.  Annie and I have gone on lots of walks around my new 'hood and there is a trail system here that seems to take us places, but also seems to "end" with no warning, no direction and/or signs. I'm often left muttering, "huh" as I turn around and go back the way I came.

On our walk back home we quickly came upon a trail and I guessed that it was the very trail that has been stumping me for weeks on my end of town.  I knew I was headed in the correct general direction and much prefer walking on trails/paths to busy streets so I decided to just go for it and figure it out. My phone had 10% battery so I knew that my GPS was going to help me for only a little while.

I had a lot of time to think as I maneuvered my way home and those thoughts are presented here as the Monday Mindset this week.  

Keep your own goal/vision in mind as you read my musings from a long, but pleasant walk home:

1. When Plan A gets foiled, make the decision to go with Plan B, as long as it’s still in the direction of your goal!

In my case, it was an easy decision; of course I was going to walk home as opposed to sitting in my car.  But don’t you find that sometimes, when our Plan A foils, we get “stuck” in our thinking about it and may not ever opt for Plan B.  It may take you in a new direction (forcing you to stray from your “plan”) AND it may be just what you needed at the time.  When I looked at my objective for the day, it was to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Walking home for 2+ miles on a new path turned out to be the way I got there.  It wasn’t my plan, but it didn’t matter.  I still had a wonderful day!

2. Find gratitude in the situation.

One might think that I'd be in a bad mood after hearing of the expensive car repairs I have ahead of me but instead, I chose to be thankful that this didn't happen when I was driving home alone the night before, or when I was already up in the hills, stranded with a dying cell phone.  It was around noon on a gorgeous day, very close to home. Grateful.

3. When you can't see what's ahead of you, just keep going.

We often can’t see the result of the step we’re taking until much further down the road.  Keep going until you have to turn around—but be willing to turn around.  As long as you know you're headed in the right direction, don’t get bogged down with your errors or the errors of others.  Just keep going and you'll eventually get there. Self correcting is part of the process. You’re figuring it out as you go.

4. When you’re stumped and don’t seem to be making any progress, see if you can approach it from a different direction.

I couldn’t figure out the path from my side of town, but was able to maneuver it from a different angle. I took many wrong turns, but as long as I was willing to turn around and keep going in the direction of where I wanted to go, I knew I’d eventually get there. It also made me grateful for the small steps I had taken to get to know the path near my house…it gave me the courage to believe in myself as I kept navigating my way.  Your small steps are going to be worthy one day. So no matter which dream/vision you're holding, keep these musings in mind and just KEEP GOING.  Self correct, trust yourself and know that you already know the way.

Shine on in your greatness,