Best Laid Plans

I knew this woman whose husband of twenty years had left her for a younger version of herself.

The break up came out of the blue. He moved out and cut off almost all contact with her. She was devastated, but after a grieving period, she picked herself up, dusted herself off, and tried to move on.

She talked with a lawyer about filing for divorce, but decided that if her husband wanted a divorce, he could pay for it. They owned property together, but he wouldn’t sell or settle on any agreement she proposed. This went on for months.

She went about recreating her life. She became closer with her family. She even tried dating, and though she only ended up making some very nice friends, that was okay, too.

One day, after some serious soul searching, my friend came to the conclusion that, despite everything, she still loved her husband, that he was, at heart, a good man, and that she didn’t want any other man. She reasoned that he wasn’t making any effort to permanently sever ties, so why should she? So my friend did the only thing she could do: She moved forward with her life but left the door open. And, along the way, she had some nice adventures.

After I met her, we ended up becoming quite close. She told me about how she’d given up on trying to make things change with that relationship and just let things unfold the way they were meant to. She had faith that everything was going to work out with him.

I thought she was one of the smartest and strongest women I’d ever met, but I also thought that, in this, she was deluded. I worried that she’d find herself alone and regret the time she’d wasted waiting for her husband to come back to her. I mean, even if this other woman didn’t work out, surely, her husband would just move on to another woman again.

I never told her what I really thought, which was that, if it happened to me and I still wanted him, I would have gone and gotten my man back. Or, at the very least, I would have a better plan than to just to have faith that it would all work out. Instead, I kept my mouth shut and tried to be supportive.

Four months later, a little over a year after her husband left her, he asked to come back. And she took him back. They’re doing great. She’s so happy, and I’m thrilled for her.

If you let them, people will surprise you.


When something works out in a way you never would have predicted, it can turn your world on its head. I just think about how wrong I was about her situation and how it would play out. How arrogant I was in thinking I’d do it differently, handle it better. How cynical I was to believe that there was no happy ending in store for her with this man.

I’ve never been one to just go with something on faith. I usually have a plan with a very well defined goal. I decide what I want, and I work to make it a reality. I can be pretty relentless in my pursuit, and I’m fairly stubborn once I’ve set my mind to something. Just another one of my special gifts! If for some reason things don’t work out as planned, it isn’t for lack of effort on my part.

It takes a lot of faith to let go and just let things happen. You have to believe very strongly that everything will take care of itself. And, then, you have to be willing to accept the end result, whatever that result may be. Basically, it’s just the opposite of how I’ve always conducted my life.

I’m starting to see, though, that when you always know what’s going to happen next (because, of course, I make very logical, detailed plans, complete with flow charts and schematics), it’s not nearly as much fun as being surprised at what happens along the way. Life is unpredictable. People aren’t logical. Well, at least not all the time.

Now, I really believe that the worst thing to happen is not that your end result isn’t what was planned, or even what was hoped for. The real tragedy would be to continue on with no faith in anything or anyone.

People will amaze you, but you have to let them.

And I’m thinking now, too, that maybe the best plan any of us can make is to just keep moving forward with no other goal in mind than to stay true to yourself and to be happy.

Oh, and to always leave the door open,.. just in case.


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