Of course this is the way today was to start, as a reminder that not everything should turn out as planned. It is the reminder I need to keep me in the PRESENT, in the now and resilient as ever.
Woke up at 4a, made coffee, got ready and out of the house by 5:30a to get to the beach in time for sunrise.
Get to the beach at 6:20a exactly as planned, pulled out my chair to sit in front of the ocean, coffee in hand, laptop in tow and ready to take in the 6:33a sunrise as “planned”. But not as promised…
I sit in the chair and immediately the sand gnats are all over me. In my hair, biting me, chasing me back into my car. The sun is not rising b/c of the cloud cover and my partner-in-crime that was to meet me has not.
Here is what I would have missed had everything gone as planned…
- Sitting in my more comfortable car in the a/c smiling through it all (gnat-free)
- This beautiful sunrise that came at 6:45a
- Listening to Jefferson Starship, Miracles, as the first song that came on when I started Pandora
- …and this reminder that Plan B is likely better than Plan A…while I may never know for sure because Plan A did not play out as planned and I am so blessed to be reminded that blessings in our lives can come in many forms.
Option B by Sheryl Sandberg
I am on the last hour of this book on Audible and it is so perfect for this moment. The book was referred to me by a good friend. I honestly did not know what it was about when I started it but I was very familiar with Sheryl’s book “Lean In” and knew of the tragic loss of her husband at 48-years old. When the book started it was crystal clear why it has been offered to me as a “good read” because it was about Sheryl’s journey after the loss of her husband. I of course can relate although I did not lose a spouse I lost a mother; also too soon.
Sheryl’s first point caught me and kept me from the start and that is that “we are all living some form of Option B”. Today is a reminder that even in the simplest forms, this is the truth.
Sheryl’s second point was the introduction of the “Three P’s” and the lesson behind each.
- Personalization – the belief that we are at fault
- Pervasiveness – the belief that an event will affect all areas of our life
- Permenance – the belief that the aftershocks of the event will last forever
How close all three of these were hitting me immediately after my mother’s passing versus where I am today is a testament to the fourth P that she does not define PROGRESS. Here is how this played out for me:
- RIGHT AFTER HER DEATH:
- Personalization – I questioned through my mother’s last year if I was doing enough and for reasons I will not expound on, in the end I felt I was at fault.
- Pervasiveness – Upon her death I felt like a part of me died with her and I was not sure how I could go on.
- Permanence – this goes without explanation. When someone that you revere as your “God” passes away how can anything in the future ever be right again. I remember telling Gary shortly before she passed, “I think this will change me forever, I don’t think I will ever be “me” again.”
- Personalization – I know I did enough and thanks to an amazing therapist, I also know that I was not at fault but my feelings were absolutely valid as I took on a responsibility for her that was beyond measure.
- Pervasiveness – It has affected all areas of my life but it is not ALL bad as I am reminded more of the blessings of 48-years of pure love and friendship and less about the last year that added to many of those precious memories despite the circumstances.
- Permanence – There is nt doubt that the aftershocks will be with me forever but the reaction, the injury of those aftershocks have subsided and some have healed.
It leads me to a realization that the final two P’s that Sheryl does not cover are indeed:
- Progress – As my life is progressing and in many ways. I proudly told Gary yesterday that I was not in pain (after surgery 3 weeks ago, it was the first day with no pain…yay for me!) and I felt optimistic about the second half of the year and the projects that I have taken on.
- Option P – Yes, I am renaming Sheryl’s Option B to Option P because the option of the plan the Option P is where we seem to find more meaning, more creation and inspiration.
Sunday’s sunrise is not how I planned it but it so IMPERFECTLY PERFECT, it is the Option P, that I would not change a second of because it is so much sweeter than the original plan. In this moment, I have everything I need, I am present and it’s PROFOUND.
Enjoy your Sunday, find your Option P and revel in it.
Life as I see it – L.