The Best of 2011: A funny thing happened on the way through 40

The life we planEditor’s Note: I wrote this early in 2011, a little past the halfway mark of my 40th year. It’s about how differently the 40 I’d planned was turning out to be. I’m 41 now, and a lot of this is still true. Maybe it will serve as a reminder that life isn’t in the planning, it’s in the living.

A funny thing happened on the way through 40 – nothing went the way I planned. Well almost nothing. But considering the previous 20 years, it really shouldn’t have come as a big surprise. One of my favorite quotes is by Joseph Campbell and it’s “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” So you’d think that by now I’d get it, yet I keep designing these elaborate plans only to have them morph into something they were probably supposed to be anyway.

Let’s see, my plan to grow the biggest-bad-ass-est blog to ever hit the blogosphere (and retire at the age of 40.5 from the tremendous rush of advertisers and sponsorships,) morphed into a nice, quiet little blog which gets pretty good notice, decent traffic and most importantly has a following of phenomenal woman (and men) of all ages, from all over the world.

My plan to be fit at 40 was sidelined by a ridiculously unbelievable but very real knee injury, and it’s taken longer to get back to the place I was before I tripped on the way to my printer (it’s funny now, but not so much when I heard my knee pop.)

Let’s see, there was also the plan NOT to go back to work but to make WAF my employer – the WAF being my employer thing worked out exactly as planned, the part about it paying me…not so much. Not yet anyway. But the ideas are still coming, the desire to hear and share stories remains, and hundreds of thousands of women turn 40 everyday – my audience, thankfully, isn’t going anywhere.

I also planned to return to Italy sometime during my 40th year, and while the year’s not over, as of today, the chances of that happening are slim to none. But like women turning 40, Italy isn’t going anywhere, and God willing I’ll get there one day soon.

So the funny thing that happened on my way through 40 is that I realized that sometimes the things we plan evolve while we’re in the middle of them, and we can go with the flow and evolve with them, or we can moan about the things that didn’t happen. I choose to appreciate the 600 plus Facebook followers the site now has and the truly awesome women I’ve met along the way. I‘ve chosen to use the knee injury as an opportunity to focus even more on a healthier lifestyle, not just physically, but spiritually and emotionally as well…and to be more careful when retrieving items from my printer. As for the job, I’m writing and editing and doing things I enjoy doing every day, for a company that’s making a real difference.  I’m slowly learning to move the life I’ve planned over to the side to make room for the life that’s waiting for me.

Update: That Italy trip, it’s happening in 2012 – God willing and the creek don’t rise 🙂