I Plan, God Laughs

imagestodoIf you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” -Woody Allen

I am a planner; I like to figure out, schedule, and timestamp all my activities and jobs for each day. I realize that my coffee stained to-do lists with dark pen lines drawn through endless chores is really the security blanket of a Type A, neurotic, obsessed person.

Still, white knuckled, I cling to them and admittedly each line drawn horizontally through another task provides me with a great sense of order and relief.

Since having children, I discovered that making sure the course of the day even slightly resembles the plan in my head takes military style precision. Each maneuver is painstakingly planned taking into consideration any and all possible obstacles. Sippy cups filled–check. Snacks packed–check. Special stuffed animals in hand–check. Coats, shoes, entertain for the car ride–check, check and check.

With each job ticked, I feel a heady sense of empowerment. I have this. This is going to work. It is all going according to plan.

But…whose plan?

I can tell you, with great confidence, that it is rarely my plan. And if God does indeed laugh, I am sure that lately He has been holding his holy belly and rolling on the floor every time he hears another one of my plans.

I may have even heard a celestial chuckle last night when after carefully constructing my next day, I noticed that my youngest seemed weepy and lethargic. Placing my hand across his small forehead, I felt a familiar heat that quickly melted my plans to write.

Being a writer and a mother often works with a beautiful albeit complicated synchronicity. My children provide inspiration, motivation and fodder for posts (case in point, this one).

Also, a writer’s time is fluid so that without the constraints of clocking in, I can attend all school activities, prepare dinner for them and, yes, be here when they are sick.

Although I have learned to adapt, acquiring the agility of a contortionist, my writing often is relegated to an activity squeezed between school pick-ups and 20-minute cartoons.

So when I carefully preplan a workday, there is little room for error. It only takes one preschool plague to completely annihilate my ability to accomplish anything authorly.

So today I wrote this post between bites of lunch, giving my little one a bath, cuddles on the couch, and trips to the bus stop.

And as the day ended and the fever broke, I tried to cross another thing off of my list. I threw a load of laundry into the washer; it broke.

And I swear that as I pulled the dirty clothes back out of the machine, I heard God guffaw.

Thank you for reading. I’m excited to hear what you think.

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About Sherry Parnell