A Bump in the Road

A bump in the road, a curve in the path, an obstacle on the journey.   Whatever you want to call it, I experienced a big one in the first days of the New Year.   A plan we had in place for 18 months, that we thought was coming to fruition next month, was suddenly gone.

A plan that felt like it was (finally) bringing us the freedom I want to believe retirement is all about. For 18 months we had been planning for this event to free us and bring the light we wanted into our life.  There were reasons on the timing and I felt we were being patient – some things just need to happen in their own time.   I awaited it (almost) patiently.

Suddenly, with a single phone call, after 18 months of planning, the event was not going to happen. There was no plan to bring in the light; only darkness ahead. And for a while, I couldn’t even see any light at the end of the tunnel I had entered.   The plan was non-existent, the path forward was unclear, and I was uncertain and doubting myself.

I’ve talked before about how life happens.   It took me a while to get to the fact in this case, nobody died. That’s a good thing. OK, there was a death of a vision. A vision that I had crafted and refined and was really happy with.   My vision board for the year was done and I was filled with delight. I had plans, so many plans – but many of them hinged on this one  event – the one that gave us freedom. So they were all sent to the wayside as the road bumped and curved big time.

It took me a few days to gather myself together and start to create a new plan.   Then I got overwhelmed in the details of trying to find a solution to the problem that the new circumstances (or lack of the event) had created.   Moving from anger and guilt (why did I not see this coming, why did it blindside me) to feeling overwhelmed was a positive direction. It didn’t feel positive at the time, but it was a move towards having a (new) plan.

I’ve spent the last 2 weeks researching options to put a new plan into place that will re-open the freedom route.   This new plan will hopefully turn this moment into a minor detour and not a major derailment.   Maybe.   The plan is still in the works, and the hope is fleeting as I work though the issues.

I’ve put into practice some of the tools I’ve learned in the past year. I’ve continued to daily journal and do emotional monitoring; continued to practice gratitude; and every day I look for the daily little moments of joy, sometimes through the tears.   I do think that these daily life tools have helped me work though this bump in the road more quickly than I might have a couple of years ago.

My word of the year is Live.   This wasn’t quite the “living life” I had in my vision.

What have you done when you’ve hit a major bump in the road on your life journey?


Picture Credit: Adobe Stock

12 thoughts on “A Bump in the Road

  1. What a beautiful resilient attitude you have. Yes life does throw us a few curve balls along the way and when it’s something that was so significant it is especially disappointing. Love your philosophy. Thanks for sharing this story with us.

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  2. Pat, I know you will read my post today so that’s one of the things I do…let the negative feelings out. I grieve about the loss. As you said you’ve experienced a loss of your vision of the future. Then, I regroup, try really hard to think out of the box so I will see alternatives I may not have thought about before. I also talk to friends, get on the web and look for articles with the idea that I don’t know what I don’t know. The other thing I do is what Bob suggested…give yourself some space. When we give ourselves a timeout, we allow a void to occur, a kind of emptiness. That void will eventually be filled preferably with some creative thoughts from outside the box. You are in my thoughts. I hope it gets better for you. K

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    1. Kathy, just popped over and I love your post today. I’ve been doing a ton of talking. I was encouraged last week to “communicate, communicate, communicate” about this situation for the solution to come from the Universe. I’ve spoken with a lot of people – both virtually on the web and IRL on the phone or in person. And people have linked others to me. I’ve spoken with people I didn’t think I would tell about the situation. I’ve lost track of the number of hours I’ve devoted to communication about this (when it hit 25, I stopped counting). The solution is not apparent yet, and unfortunately I don’t think a time-out would work that good for me (maybe in another week I’ll feel differently). I’m feeling the need for a plan…even if it’s another longer-term one. As I mentioned commenting on your post, my emotion has moved to uncertain with a hint of hope. Focusing on doing something helped that. And posting about it helped too. 🙂


    1. I am flabbergasted in your use of the “positive vibes” comment. When this all happened, I reached out to a few good friends via email… literally asking for positive vibes to be sent my way. I was able to give them more details since they knew the situation, but the phrasing was identical to what you’ve sent me. Are you psychic now? P.S. Thanks for the hugs & vibes!


    1. Love that word. It did make me smile. I not going to switch my word of the year to it, but definitely will attempt to use it in conversation. It’s a little bit different concept than one of my favorite quotes from Alice In Wonderland about being sure of the direction your heading. I guess I want to believe that the final destination is still there, we’re just taking a unknown route right now. Good to hear from you!

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  3. I have always hated expressions like “Things happen for a reason” or “When one door closes, another opens.” I think that is a bunch of meaningless pablum. But, I do believe that there is more than one path to take to reach a desired outcome and that we have a lot of control over how we experience and react to events that are out of our control. It sounds like you had a very disappointing bump, but I’m confident that you’ll figure out a way to handle it that will create a positive outcome for you and your husband. Take deep breaths… you’ve got this!

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    1. Thanks Janis for the vote of confidence. And yes, deep breathing is helping. It’s kinda good I took up yoga in November, huh? Keeping with that 2 times a week past 2 weeks has been helpful as well! As I mentioned to Bob below, I’ve got the plans is place to figure out a new Plan. And trying to be optimistic about it.

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  4. Oh man! My heart sank when I read this. I am SO sorry that this bump came out of nowhere and derailed all of those patient plans! Since I don’t know the particulars of the situation, I can’t offer specific advice. What I can suggest is that maybe it would help to give yourself some space from the disappointment. If you can, put it on the shelf for a while and come back to it after a couple of weeks if you can spare the time. That might help you to breathe, decompress and gain some perspective. Easy for me to say, right?? Again, I am very sorry to hear of your setback.

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    1. Thanks Bob. While time to decompress would be good, I’ve learned that I’m a person that needs a plan. When I have a plan, I feel better. So the plan right now is to develop The (new) Plan. Hah. That was my thinking on early retirement … I planned to take the time to make The Plan. So I’m back to the beginning in a lot of ways. But, luckily, I have a lot of tools in the toolbox to use. One of the nice things about having done it before. Getting back to blogging has also helped!


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