So I am a planner. I absolutely love planning. I booked my May leave in February, and was already planning a full schedule on where I shall be going, with whom, and to do what. It’s all written down in my journal somewhere, ready to be polished up and executed. Planning is the best aspect of any event for me, because it allows me to use my imagination and try see the cheapest route available to achieve the same goals. Doesn’t always work out, because closer to the date I suddenly decide that budgets aren’t really made to be stuck to, but I digress…
So being the planner that I am, and with this year being the busiest ever in my career life, I began my December journey armed with new journals, new diaries and of course, a plan as to how I was going to navigate the year. I had a big presentation end of January, and I started working on it second week of December because I wanted it done by Christmas. My study timetable was neatly laid out and by this time I was meant to have covered a third of the syllabus. My then boyfriend was talking of marriage and I thought sure, I will slot it in somewhere in all this crazy, because all there is to a perfectly executed life is proper planning, right?!
So December came, and life just decided to throw me major curve balls which set me off track completely. My health also decided to call it quits, and I spent two solid days lying in bed recuperating. So my presentation to be done before Christmas deadline was just not going to happen. But I bounced back, the life pressures eased a bit, and come December 31, I entered the new year, armed with the faith and enthusiasm everyone else around me was carrying. This was going to be my year! I was made to thrive! I was going to eat pressure for breakfast!
OK to be fair, the first few days of the new year did go by quite well. I stuck to my resolutions, and to my timetable. I was combing and styling my hair everyday, (believe me this is a thing for me), and I was ticking off all the topics I was meant to be studying that day, and even ticking off future study topics. Nails were done, dishes cleaned soon after each meal, and I was eating healthy. Had not had any snacks in a week. Thriving! Oh, and presentation was getting done. Told you I was going to be eating pressure for breakfast!
Said boyfriend breaks up with me. Turns out he had someone else or something, and they are expecting their own little bundle of joy, and well, he is ecstatic, whilst I am left with my jaw on the floor. Did not see that coming! At all! To be fair, I spend most of my time at work, and when not at work I am either studying, or worrying about how I am not studying, so it is possible the signs were there, I just completely missed them. 🤦🏾
Now I don’t know if you guys are like me, but I much prefer it when things go according to plan, and this was not the plan! We were supposed to go on a holiday in April, and we were meant to be talking marriage, I could have sworn that’s what his messages in person and on the phone had clearly said to me in December. Had I imagined all of that? 🤔
Over the past adult years, this is something that has reared its ugly head a couple of times, but never quite as strongly as it did this past season. With it comes it’s friends, self doubt, feelings of hopelessness, over-sleeping and not eating. Why these feelings? To be honest I don’t know. It wasn’t because of a boy. Well, it wasn’t just because of a boy. It was everything. The pressure. The lifestyle I chose. Feeling like a failure. Feeling like I don’t even know how far back in my life I would have to go to change the trajectory of my life. Not knowing what I would change, because I am not sure what defines me. I pride myself on my ability to read people, and I have seldom been wrong, so how had I not seen this level of deception coming?
So of course, the fixer in me had to analyze everything, do a post-mortem so to speak, and see where it is I had gone wrong, for future reasons of course. Did I mention that I love planning? So yes, the plan for my future was for me to get married at 27 years of age, and have my first baby by 35. And if I am not mistaken, I am currently only give or take seven years behind on that schedule 😂
It’s a very difficult thing to have a near perfect plan laid out, and have it fall apart at the seams. What do you then hold onto, when everything is simply not going according to schedule?
So here is the thing about life. Things don’t always go according to our plans, no matter how perfectly laid out those plans may be. In fact, as Shakespeare puts it, When trouble comes, it comes not as single spies, but in battalions. Murphy’s law, Whatever can go wrong will go wrong. It is the funny thing about life. It has it’s own way of handling you, just when you think you have managed to handle it. But it’s not about what is thrown your way, because believe me, unbelievable mess shall be thrown your way once in a while. It’s not about that, it is about how you handle that. But not even that, it is about who holds you through the mess. I will be the first to admit it, the first quarter of the year has not gone according to plan. It’s been a mess, and I have handled it poorly!
Hebrews 13:5-6 God has said, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid, what can man do to me?”
But here is what I have learnt folks, life is not about the future. It’s not even about the past. Life is about the present. The right here, right now. In Shona we have a saying, huswa hwenyati ndehuri mudumbu, huri pamuromo hunofa nahwo. I will paraphrase its meaning, to say it means what you have is the present! It is this very moment that you have, that you are guarenteed! That’s literally all you are entitled to, this very moment. So what are you spending your moments concentrating on? Because remember, once the moment is gone, that’s it, it is gone! And on your dying bed, all you shall have are memories. Glimpses of moments. So let me ask you again, are you present? Are you a present being, or are you like me, always planning the future, always rehashing the past when future plans don’t go according to plan?
I will be honest, I have no regrets over said ex boyfriend. We had fun times together, and for that present moment, it was fun to have him around. Something I have come to realize over the years is that it is not about the opportunities you took that didn’t end well. It is about the fact that you took the opportunities, you were present, in those moments, and you learnt, you lived, you laughed, you loved! You did your best, with whatever information you had at that time, and so what things didn’t turn out the way you wanted them to? It is all part of the journey. It’s what makes us alive! Human!
So folks, here is my encouragement to you today. Whatever season in life you are in, live in it. Be present in that moment! Be present! Savour every conversation, savour everything you have around you right now, for all you have dear friends, is the present! Come alive! Perfect plans and all, no plan and all, be present, for all you have is the present!