These lyrics from Michigan home-boy Bob Seger have been echoing through my head over the past week or so.
“...I could go East, I could go West, it was all up to me to decide.”
Roll Me Away by Bob Seger
What’s Your Plan?
When people ask us what our plans our we like to put on this show of chuckling and saying “our plan is to have no plan” or “plan is a four-letter word”.
We like to think that we are totally footloose and fancy-free, our house on our back, able to blow with the wind and seeking out the 75 degrees and sunny.
But the truth?
The truth is we like to focus outwardly on the first part of that lyric - the “we could go east or we could go west” part. That’s the fun part. That’s the part we dreamt of while sitting in our work-cubes and in our suburbia-routines. That’s the part that gets the mind wandering. That’s the siren song of the road.
But it’s the second part of the song lyric that is the hard part…“it was all up to me to decide”.
You see, we have to decide.
And that can be stressful and overwhelming.
Rough Planning is Normal
The truth is that lurking behind the stage-curtain of that “we’re so flexible and cool” show is that we usually do have a rough plan.
Seeing the west. Visiting Washington, DC. A couple months at a farm in Texas. A training class in San Francisco. Visiting friends in Florida. The rough plan provides the overall coordination of compass and calendar, while the day to day gets filled in in a more ad-hoc fashion.
I used the word “usually” because we often run out of a rough plan.
We never lack for options - summer seasonals in a small lakefront farming town in Michigan, another farm stay in Kentucky, or volunteers at a Christian Summer Camp in upper Wisconsin. All of these options are attractive in different ways but we just can’t make the decision yet.
We wait for calls back from some people. We need input from an upcoming work phone conference. Basically we need to wait. And we need to pray. I know God will reveal the new plan. I know we need to be patient.
But that doesn’t stop me from being impatient, stop me from being stressed, or stop me from feeling a bit overwhelmed at the sheer number of choices that are available to us.
It never helps when we are stuck in gray skies and an ugly RV park after periods of being around friends and having extraordinary experiences. Maybe we have adventure-hangover and we’re in the “give me aspirin and water” phase the next morning.
Bob found his inspiration:
“Just then I saw a young hawk flyin’
and my soul began to rise
and pretty soon
My heart was singin’”
And we’ll find ours again.