This past Wednesday was my last day of school until the fall semester. Despite a bad cold, I managed to walk into each of my classes, hand out the comprehensive exam, and sit upright until all students had turned the tests in. I even graded the exams and put the scores into the computer that same day. After all, it was my LAST DAY, and I didn’t want any task to spill over into the first day of my summer vacation.
Those carefully laid plans—we all know how they go.
Wednesday afternoon I realized that I had forgotten to leave some money at school for a colleague’s retirement gift. Some colleagues don’t mean much to me, but this one? Well, I had interviewed with her back in 2004 and I spoke with her daily. My kids have watered her plants in the summer. I wanted to chip in for her gift and maybe even sign her card. And that meant getting in my car Thursday morning—my first day of summer vacation—to drive to work and walk into my office. Not exactly my original plan.
But that’s my life, I tell you. I didn’t plan to get a Ph.D. I didn’t plan to get married. I didn’t plan to have four children and five pets or live in Dayton, Ohio, or work part-time, or try to publish a novel. Most of my life has been reacting to events that weren’t a part of the original plan, and I think I’ve done all right so far.
I guess I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and hope for the best. Because maybe the best plan of all is to simply have no plan. We’ll see.