Times of Evaluation

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I am one of those people who like to have a plan then follow the plan. Only thing, my life does not seem to follow the plan. This is true for most of us. We have plans of things we want to do and accomplish during our life, then life happens, plans change and sometimes just disappear. The changed plans are not bad, some changes in our lives are exciting.

Finding the true love, soul mate, person who completes you is often found unexpected. These are happy events in our lives, that do lend to a different plan. Unexpected promotions or job offers are happy received events that change the plans we have, perhaps moving things forward a little faster. Sometimes job opportunities are accompanied with having to relocate to a different area. Then there are those events in life that bring great joy, but were a total surprise.

In my family, my youngest daughter and her husband wanted another child, to be a sibling to their daughter and a happy addition to their family. Their plan was to have two children. My daughter became pregnant, went for an ultrasound and saw a surprise, three babies instead of one. The fact they were going to have triplets took a moment to digest the surprise. Triplets altered their plans slightly, and with joy they moved forward preparing for three babies instead of one.

Not all events are happy events, some events bring stress, hardship, and having to totally change what you are doing and the direction you are going. These events seem to be the ones we remember the most, I think because we have to make tough decisions and fight our way forward.

Seven years ago a huge event changed my plans and lifestyle. My husband went to work as usually, the company had a safety meeting every Thursday morning. When he arrived at the shop for the safety meeting, after being in the field in the early morning, he knew something was different, a sheriff car was parked in the parking lot. Everyone gathered for the safety meeting, only it was not a safety meeting. One of the directors of the company stepped up, greeted the group, then called out four names and said “you are no longer employed. The sheriff deputy will help you gather your personal belongings from the company truck and then you are to leave. ” He called to have me come and pick him up.

The paycheck stopped, but the bills kept arriving. We sold majority of the horses, keep three for personal horses to ride, praying we would not have to sell them. The end of our dreams and plans of raising horses. The plans for building a new house, sit on a shelf collecting dust. Six months we did not know if we were staying or moving, it all depended on where he found a job. We evaluated our situation, made decisions, shed tears, and moved forward.

How many of us evaluated our lives when we were in lockdowns due to Covid-19. Travel plans were changed or cancelled. Family seemed to be more important. There were births, graduations, weddings and funerals we were not allowed to attend. Items in the store were not available for purchase. Drastic changes to our lives, but not from any decision or choice we had made. Yet, we had to make changes to our plans and our lives.

Some forced to work from home, learned they enjoyed working from home and did not want to return to an office building to perform their duties. Others lost jobs and found new careers. Some businesses closed, others became mobile. The community I live in, has a mobile beautician as well as a mobile dog groomer.

Then there are life changes such as graduation from high school or college, getting married, and retirement. My husband and I are getting close to retirement. We are evaluating what we will be able to afford, what we should keep and what we are going to do when he retires. One thing is certain, our income will decrease dramatically when he retires.

One item we are working on now is to have the house and place paid off, no house payment. When he was laid off, we paid off all our debts except the house, the only debt we have. We made a decision to never have a credit card again, if we can not pay cash, then we do not get it.



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