This Isn’t How I Planned It

[New York, New Haven and Hartford Locomotive No. 321 crash through roundhouse]

This Isn’t How I Planned It.


Almost midnight and an old buddy and I are catching up. He asks me about the job search and I fill him in on things. When I ask about what is new on his end he tells me about the girlfriend, the job and how happy he is to have his daughter back home.
We shoot the breeze, share a couple more stories and then laugh about how we are too young to be considered old people and too old to be considered young people.

I ask him if he remembers his view of the world when we were in high school and if reality matches it and he says “This Isn’t How I Planned It.

We both laugh and I tell him that I am going to use that line for the title of my biography. “If I make real money from it I’ll give you some of the royalties, all $5 bucks worth.

He tells me he has to catch a few hours of sleep and I tell him he is getting older and he laughs, “you are older than I am.” It is true, I am one month older and after more than 30 years of friendship I say I have earned it.

“I don’t know what that means but ok.”

I tell him I don’t know what it means either and then ask him he understands the Sprint commercials that talk about the framily. When he says no I tell him I haven’t a clue either but suggest we might be able to make money off of producing shit that no one understands.

“We’ll call it high art and the hoity-toity fancy crowd will spend a fortune on buying some piece of artwork they can describe to friends as showing the meaning of life.”

We both laugh at the idea and then say goodnight.

This Isn’t How I Planned It

Life is different than how I planned it to be. Some of the differences are not bad things. Some of them are very good things and I am grateful but my ledger isn’t filled with a steady and rising black line.

There are some red marks and while there are days where I will tell you I am grateful for the hard times because they help me appreciate the good there are days I won’t.

Days where if you ask I will tell you I am tired of feeling like I have to do it all on my own. Days where I wonder when I will feel like I have real support and can trust people to help.

I am frustrated by some people and with some things. That is not unusual or unnatural. It happens to everyone and while I could list my complaints about some I see no upside to doing any of that.

If you ask me to tell you what I want I can give you a detailed answer and I can tell you about the roadmap I have built and am building to get me there.

FWIW, I am not likely to just share it with you. Some of those things come from the darker corners of my mind. That doesn’t mean they are bad rather it means they are personal and there are boundaries in blogging.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

It is Friday morning and I am asking myself why I didn’t post this yesterday. Don’t have any answer other than I didn’t like it enough to post as it was and didn’t see a need to engage in major editing.

Sometimes you have to walk away from the computer. Sometimes you have to live your life by walking away from the things that aren’t working for you.

Listened to The ‘Stones sing You Can’t Always Get What You Want and nodded my head because there is truth in that song. Decided that I wanted to listen to Gimme Shelter, put it on, sat back in the chair and closed my eyes.

It is one of my favorite songs, but it has been overplayed and commercialized so I don’t listen to it as often as I used to. But there is power in it and it gets my blood pumping so I went for it.

Opened my eyes and thought again about one line from You Can’t Always Get What You Want:

But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need

I think I should send Mick and the boys a card saying thanks because looking at those words I realize it is what I have been saying to my children their entire lives.

There is a difference between accepting you can’t get what you want and not trying at all. They have heard me say many times they have to be advocates for their own lives.

Mom and dad can only help so much but the bulk of the responsibility for everything falls upon their shoulders. If you want something you need to figure out how to make it happen and if you can’t make it happen you have to figure out what the best alternative is.

My life is good but in so many ways it is very different than I would have imagined it to be. This is not how I planned it, but that doesn’t mean it can’t turn out in ways that are better than I might have dreamed.

The same is true for all people.

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8 Comments

  1. Jens-Petter Berget August 2, 2014 at 3:15 am

    Hey Jack,

    I’ve been watching several seasons of Californication, and that main character «Hank Moody» reminds me a bit of what you’ve just written here. Well, sort of. Things might not turn out the way we planned it, but I believe that if we plan, and keep hustling to, we’ll usually end up somewhere we belong.

    -Jens

  2. Larry August 1, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    This isn’t even close to what I planned in high school. Of course, I didn’t plan much in high school. I just dreamed of the girls and my mind was fully occupied.
    Well, not quite but my life is way different than I would have expected. And I’m fine with that.

    • Jack August 3, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      I love hearing positive responses from people. So many talk about how it’s not what they expected but it doesn’t sound positive when they say it.

  3. Sebastian Aiden Daniels August 1, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Simple yet true post. Life does not turn out how we plan it to be. At least it doesn’t for me and you. Btw random stuff does make money especially in today’s world. Make a tshirt company that has pictures of puppies riding baby pigs and you will make millions probably .

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