It’s been eight years since Joy died.

Most of the time it feels like it happened last week, or a few days ago…and sometimes it seems like it was another life, a watercolor in abstract.

So, this year I have been trying to get it together again. Every year I think this is the year that I am going to get it together and then I don’t quite make it. And then I realize that this is probably one of those things I need to learn: that life is all about trying to get it together and not quite making it but forging ahead anyway.

Joy's Flowers

Joy’s Flowers

I had so many plans, ladies. And I often have thought this year that if she hadn’t died, well, then everything really would have been just the way I planned. Well, maybe not JUST the way I planned it, but pretty close and pretty near perfect. Of course, what-might-have-beens are so very much easier to imagine that what actually happened, I guess.

I realize now that there is no such thing as the perfect plan. I don’t think God or Heaven or the Universe is designed so that our plans, no matter how well thought out, well executed, or inspired will work out just perfectly. No, there has to be the conflict and the sometimes miraculous resolution…there has to be character development and an interesting plot. It can’t just work out without any excitement.

I guess it can if you decide to never act, to sit and stare at a wall all day or something. That could never work for me because I have the attention span of a squirrel. So, yeah. I have to be doing things and chasing things and…living. And if we decide to live, well, then the plans have to be sacrificed and changed and amended and thrown out and sometimes they almost work, or they work out of order or something. It’s kind of a mystery to me how it all works, but it does.

So, although I know there is no perfect plan, I still make plans. They are just strange, open ended, seemingly nonsensical plans. I now understand a little why I read and re-read Alice in Wonderland so many times growing up. There was something so familiar about the whole madness of Wonderland. Something so comforting about it.

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I just got this comforting feeling of familiarity and this feeling that the world in which I live is truly as mad as the Hatter, and as ridiculous as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, and as insane as the Caucus Race. Sometimes I feel big, sometimes insignificant. And, I am really glad that Alice made it out okay.

So my plans are more like “Wonderland” plans. I always felt awkward when people would tell me to plan out what I was going to do for the next 20 years, or if they said to focus on what life I wanted and then I would have it. I guess that’s true to a point, but eventually the Universe will throw you a curveball, because if there is one thing that is a constant in this existence, it’s curveballs.

Anomalies.

Random, inexplicable things that aren’t random because they are planned in specificity by an overarching Power, but that feel incredibly strange as we experience them in our limited understanding.

You know, I used all of my energy and chakra power and zen oneness with the universe to attempt to make a perfect life, and it doesn’t work that way. I realize now that all of that stuff is powerful, but none of it is all-powerful.

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We can change so many things about our lives and what the outcome is, but there are some things we just can’t change or avoid. They are there and they are immovable, regardless of how good we are, or how positive we are or how many times we meditate a day. Some things are just there for our own development and to create a conflict so we can find the resolution and become stronger.

I know that we can sometimes change the nature of the immovable things. But sometimes, the best we can do is just get through it. Sometimes that is all we can do.

So this year, instead of making hard and fast plans to “get it together” I have just decided to let that all go.

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I now have vague, nonsensical, sometimes even preposterous plans for my year that I know can change or metamorphosize or disintegrate into nothingness at any moment. And I think I am finally almost all the way okay with that. Maybe. I am definitely not going to be getting it together this year. I am probably not going to reach some state of nirvana with my kids and homeschool and writing and my marriage and everything. And that is okay.

It’s really okay.

I often don’t realize that due to the nature of this absurd world in which we live, it is amazing that we have the peace and tranquility that we do. In the midst of celebrating unbirthdays, wondering why a raven is like a writing desk, and looking for a competent lizard with a ladder, we are mostly content. It’s a miracle, really. It’s hard to see it, but it is.

It’s a beautiful life. It really is. It’s a messy, unpredictable, who-knows-what’s-going-happen, brilliant and blinding and beautiful life.

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