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?
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