Plans are great. Have clearly defined goals, resources in place and a timetable of when everything is going to happen. This, so the gurus tell us, is the best way to achieve happiness and success in our lives, work and relationships.
Such a shame then that life so rarely plays along with our plans. That we often don’t really know what our goals are. To be honest if I can stumble through a day without stubbing my toe I take that as a win. I was in my 40’s before I realised a career in “business” wasn’t really doing it for me and I actually wanted to be a counsellor. The only other time I was clear about my career was when I was 10 and I had to present to the class on “What I want to do when I grow up”. It turns out I’m not a fireman, so I was wrong then as well. (Maybe I thought they meant “who do I want to do when I grow up”?)
I don’t get much time to review progress against my action plan to financial security either. Pension planning? I struggle to scrape together £6 in coins, buttons and fluff from down the sofa to pay the window cleaner.
If managing life in general is so difficult to plan, why do we put ourselves through the same torture with relationships? When there are not one but two (or more!) sets of randomness and insecurity to contend with. Like my dream of being a fireman, I’m sure I held ideals about what kind of person I would be with as an adult (I’d not even really come to terms with the gender of said person at that age!) But even when I was older, and thought I “knew” everything, there was this strange concept of “Mr/Ms/Mx Right” being out there. That we “know” who should be with and what they will be like.
Then we meet people and we fall in love. And we either learn to accept who they are, or we struggle in our relationship as they won’t/ can’t be who we want them to be. But where is the space for uncertainty? How do we allow ourselves to try “what if”? If I can just about manage my finances in a day to day struggle of compromise, adjustment and occasional flushes of success, why can’t my relationship be the same?
Uncertainty is certain in our lives, and especially in our relationships. Relish it. Enjoy it. Adapt to it. Help each other through it. Who knows what you might discover?