Plan B

Things don’t always work out the way we had planned.  Sometimes in simple ways, such as when I recently brought home a lovely wooden bookshelf that I had carefully selected to store my ever-growing collection of photo albums.  The shelf seemed perfect:  it was the right color to go with my living-room furniture, and the shelves were tall enough for my photo albums.  Or at least that’s what I thought when I measured them in the store.  But when I got the bookshelf home, I discovered the shelves were actually a half-inch too short for my photo albums.

My immediate reaction was not my finest hour.  I stomped around the house, said a few ugly words, and felt very sorry for myself because I had wasted an entire Saturday morning scouring second-hand shops for this shelf, then hauling it home and cleaning it up before I discovered that it wasn’t going to work after all.  I thought about calling my kids to see if either of them wanted the shelf, but then I realized that would mean I still had no place to store my extra photo albums.  And I really did like the bookshelf.  So I decided there had to be a way to make it work.

IMG_4733I measured an another bookshelf I already had and discovered that if I adjusted the shelves a little bit, my photo albums would fit.  That meant moving the books that were already on it, but I did have that brand-new shelf that the books would fit on nicely.  I spent the next hour moving books and photo albums around, but in the end, I found I did indeed have room for all the albums and the books that I wanted to keep and that the new bookshelf looks just fine in my office.  (I even found several books I want to give away, which means I now have room for more books!)

Sometimes our plans that don’t work out are much bigger, and much more important.  I spent years trying to break into the world of children’s publishing, because I was convinced that being a writer of children’s books was the perfect career for me.  But after a tremendous amount of time and effort, I only managed to publish one single book.  Eventually,  I had to admit that this particular dream just wasn’t panning out, and for a brief while, I gave up writing altogether.  Then a friend convinced me to give blogging a try, and I became an active writer once again.  I may not be writing and publishing children’s books, but I honestly enjoy blogging and feel a true sense of accomplishment when I get a post “just right.”

I think it’s important that we all have plans, goals and dreams, and that we do our best to attain them.  But I also think it’s important to realize that just because something doesn’t work out exactly as we had planned or hoped doesn’t mean we’ve failed.  It just means that we need to be flexible enough to try a different option or to explore an area we hadn’t considered before.  Because success can be found in many different ways, particularly when we’re willing to try “plan B.”

93 thoughts on “Plan B

  1. That is a DANDY bookshelf!
    And yes, I agree…sometimes the reason for Plan A is a necessary step to getting in the vicinity of Plan B. And it’s not over until it’s over, so Plan A might just be the next thing… 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What’s the saying…man plans, God laughs. As someone who like to plan everything and gets cranky when she’s out of her routine, I’ve learned that in the end, I’ll always end up right where I should be. More room for books…that’s always a good thing! 🙂

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  3. The truth is that Plan B might actually turn out better than Plan A ever could. I suppose we must be willing to try up new things all the time and not give up altogether. The older I get, the more I realize we need to be very imaginative. So many times, our original idea is not quite the perfect fit. But then, there are lots of other ideas to choose from. I do like to read your posts because they are very ‘real’; we have all felt the way you describe things at one time or another.,,including bringing home a piece of furniture we thought would be ideal! Glad your bookshelves all had a happy ending!

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  4. How delightful!! I agree with all the above comments. To those I would add that I’m really impressed by the fact that you had the stick-to-itiveness to take the time and energy that you did to find the “just right.” And you wound up with some new life around the house. The bookcase is beautiful and appears to have come home to where it has belonged for who knows how long?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I’ll have it for a long time! I really do like it, even if it isn’t the right size for my photo albums. Things didn’t turn out as I had planned, but they did turn out well. And thanks for the kind words. For me, blogging is all about writing. And while I am certainly happier with some posts than others, I always try to do my best when I’m writing each one.

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  5. Perfect illustration with your bookshelf Ann … echoes my recent need to relocate coz I was surrounded by tall trees and solar couldn’t work. Sometimes things happen for a reason – you fitted everything in, I’ve got sunshine and we get to read your informative posts 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Where there’s a will there’s a way… I’m all for plan B or even plan C. Whatever it takes. I’ve been practicing letting go of the metaphorical steering wheel. Sometime you end up in wonderful places you’d have never found if you stuck with the original plan. Your plan B has surely been to my benefit as a reader of your blog! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I like the shelf just where it is, and now I have more room for my books in my office! Often times we do find out that our “back up plan” is actually the better one…even if we stumble upon it by accident!

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    • Yes, I think it helps to teach us to go with the flow, and not be so dismayed when our plan A doesn’t work out. We have learned that there are other options out there, some just as good or even better than the original.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. The moral of your story is when frustrated and annoyed at the decisions we have made we must look for creative solutions. Often the results of such intensive searching are very rewarding, as your example with the antique bookcase has shown. Great post, Ann!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ve lived my life smack dab in the middle of Plan B. It’s not a bad place to be. I’ve come to realize that. In fact one of my favorite sayings, that I used to have on a plaque on my office desk, said: Plans change. Often.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think it’s smart and healthy to always keep an open mind, just in case things don’t work out. You should be proud that you have been published! That’s quite an accomplishment, one that I’d be thrilled with. I’m glad to be a follower of Plan B!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I was so hoping to be a regularly published children’s book writer…not a “big name,” but just one that could rely on a steady income from my books. That used to be possible in children’s books publishing, but I missed that boat. Still, I have found the world of blogging and that has worked out well for me too. I don’t get paid, but I get to write when I want and about whatever I am thinking at the moment. That’s a freedom I wouldn’t have had in the children’s book field….plus, those authors have to make frequent presentations to schools to promote their books, and I would have hated that!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. ‘Tis the season of photo albums and books. I spent a few days this spring organizing photo albums & books. It started with the photos that I stopped putting in albums chronologically in anticipation of scrapbooking. There’s more starting and stopping in that last sentence than meets the eye. This resulted in piles of photos here and there that were running a muck. The majority of them have now been corralled in albums, duplicates saved for the granddaughters to scrapbook, old photos of people I can’t remember (!) discarded. And you know how one thing leads to another? Now it’s time to clean the shelves where the albums are stored. The old magazines were discarded; books removed for a garage sale. A job well done in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Definitely a job well done! Sometimes trying to keep track of our photos and photo albums can just be overwhelming. Good for you for getting them organized and sorted. And thanks for your comment!

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  11. Loved this! So true, and timely as I’m just trying to figure out a plan B right now. Really agree with your thoughts on blogging too. It might not be the kind of writing we expected to be doing, but it’s valuable and brings its own pleasures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sometimes Plan B takes us a while to really recognize. And yes, I really do think that there is value in blogging. It doens’t make us money (usually) but it does connect us directly to our readers, and gives us a wonderful creative outlet!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. The part I liked best is the way you worked through your emotions….stomped around…. said a few uglies…😆 That is so me.

    But you didn’t allow the situation to remain as it was; you worked from a different angle to get what you wanted. That’s a quality everyone needs. Life seldom works out as we have scripted it to. We need to learn to work at things from a different angle, not just give up and sulk. And if the end result from our tweaking is different from what we were seeking, it takes a sunny character like yours to appreciate the beauty of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I do think that is the key! I am the sort of person who does need to vent now and then, hence the stomping and ugly words. But I am not the sort of person to just leave it there, because after we vent, we then have to move on to find an actual solution to the problem. I have always believed that we can’t control our feelings…they just show up…but we can decide how we act on them and if we let them control our lives. The best thing is to make sure we stay open to new possibilities and new answers. And having read your blog for quite some time now, I know that you are one of those people who appreciate that too!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I guess “making lemonade from lemons” would apply really well here.

    Such an interesting topic. Sometimes we really get attached to an idea or a concept and we have such a hard time letting it go, even when it is obvious that it is not working out as planned. Once we let it go, then I think the creativity comes in and starts to flow freely, such as it did with you, and you came up with the perfect solution.

    Peta

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly, Peta! It’s so easy to doggedly pursue just one particular way of doing something that is never going to be successful. But once we manage to let go of that idea, then usually our way forward becomes clear. Thanks for the comment!

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  14. I couldn’t agree more, Ann, flexibility is the key to a happy life! And it’s always handy to have a couple of plans in hand if the first one doesn’t work.
    That bookshelf looks great! So glad you moved things around to make it work out in the end. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Your new bookshelf is beautiful. It’s wonderful that you were able to come up with Plan B, and figure out a way to use it. I’m often amazed how often a Plan B ends up working out just fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me, too Sheryl! Sometimes Plan B is even better than plan A, as it was in this case. It made me go through some of my books and realize I had some I was willing to donate, thus making room for new books. And I like having the shelf in my office!

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  16. I think we can all relate to your Plan B. When I decided to do some writing and finished my first novelette, I was excited about getting it published. Well, having never been a patient person, I soon realized that I wasn’t going to wait 3, 4, or even 6 months for an answer–if I even got one. And when I did get one, the rejections hurt my feelings. (I survived–and so did my ego). So, one day I decided enough was enough and did research on self publishing–and that was the route I took. Four years later, I’ve self published two novelettes and a novel. And the sequel to that will be published this month. So, yes, my Plan B has worked well for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good for you for figuring out a way to get your books published! I know, all too well, how hard it is to wait so long for a response from a publisher, and then how often it was just a form rejection. Heck, I felt good if I got a personal rejection! I’ve not looked into self-publishing, but I know many authors who have been very successful that way. I’m so glad it worked so well for you!

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  17. I think flexibility is one of the keys to happiness. We have to be willing to try and fail and when our original plan doesn’t work out we have to believe that plan B might be a much better option. That mindset just reduces the stressing eliminates what you so humorously referred to as not your finest hour..:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly, George! My reaction was entirely the result of the fact that I had bought the bookshelf specifically to hold my photo albums (and boy, do I have a lot of photo albums!) and when I realized the shelves were too short, I was thrown for a loop. Once I stopped whining and started thinking, I realized I had other shelves that could hold my photo albums and the new shelf could hold the books that used to be on those shelves….problem solved! I just had to get in a more flexible frame of mind. Always good to hear from you, George!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I couldn’t agree more with you Ann. It’s all about being flexible and willing to bend and see things from another angle. Glad you got your books to fit and VERY glad that you decided to start blogging. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Such an encouraging post, Ann. I keep wondering why I haven’t tried to publish more, get to the right weight or remodel the bathroom. Most of it is of no consequence. Recently I have had such pleasure from Marie Kondo-ing my drawers – it really did spark joy.

    Liked by 1 person

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