Life is What Happens

When we learned that our first child was a boy, John Lennon’s Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) was often on repeat in my head as we participated in all the soon-to-be-parents rituals in preparation for our son. There is one line in particular that has stood out since I first discovered The Beatles and their subsequent solo work at the age of 10 – “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” John Lennon was certainly not the first to put such a sentiment into words (the phrase can be traced back to multiple works in the first half of the 20th century) and variations will continue to be seen on Pinterest and Facebook and heard through a variety of mediums.

Clay and I have long subscribed to the idea that the key to success is flexibility. While we have an extremely rough outline of what we’d like the next five-to-ten years to look like, we’re not married to these so-called plans and fully embrace what curveballs may come our way. And now that we’re entrenched in our thirties, we find ourselves balancing the responsibilities of middle-age and parenthood with a carefree-attitude that makes life a hell of a lot more fun. Which is why we probably find ourselves maxing our IRA contributions and enjoying (more often than not) a not-so-balanced dinner of queso and craft beer.I’ve been given a lot of thought lately to what I want out of life. Perhaps it’s because I’m watching those around me deal with the heartache and struggles of divorce, illness, and death. Or perhaps I’m becoming more comfortable with myself and embracing the woman I am and dismissing those who don’t ‘get’ me. Either way, taking advantage of precious time has never felt so urgent or necessary as it does today. And from what I am told, the feeling only intensifies with each passing year.

I don’t want to get lost in the minutiae – I’m terrified of drowning in the meaningless details that won’t matter one year/five years/ten years from now. I’m more aware than ever that tangible items rarely bring me lasting joy (my iPhone 7 plus is an exception – the camera is that amazing). I don’t want to obsess about countertops, square footage, matching appliances or whether my car has leather seats or not. I simply want to be around the people I love the most soaking in both the quiet and loud moments that will forever be woven into our story.

Additionally, I’ve learned over the years that I am at my best when I am not too comfortable. I love being in new situations that are slightly overwhelming at first. That’s probably why I don’t mind moving as often as we do at the whim of Uncle Sam. It’s okay to not want to settle down in one particular area and put down roots. We may feel that urge later on but until then, we’ll just see where the Army decides to send us and make the most of our time in an area that we likely wouldn’t choose to live ourselves. Sure – there are places we’ve liked more than others but we always leave with a deeper appreciation of a population that is far more complicated than perceived stereotypes.

Oh – and another thing that makes me happy? My husband in uniform. 🙂

So we will continue to happily not make many plans and embrace the unpredictability of this life. As long as we’re together, we can take on anything because we’re stronger together than apart. Add in our children and #teamhuffman is unstoppable. May we continue to laugh even when we want to cry and appreciate the incredible gift of experiencing life together. And may we find ourselves too busy embracing life instead of making plans.

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5 thoughts on “Life is What Happens

  1. I love this post, it is something I’m working on myself, to be not too wrapped up in the details of something and to just enjoy life as it comes!

  2. Karen — on point as usual! I love the combination of such a simple but profound philosophy with your photos of experiences (not things). Your family is blessed to have you and we’re all lucky to get a peek at your thought processes from time to time.

  3. Oh, I love this post so much, you are absolutely right. I have a hard time letting go and embracing the curveballs in life because as it turns out I’m kinda attracted to structure 🙂 but life never works out the way we think and that’s what makes each day a remarkable mystery and yes, an emotional roller coaster of emotions.

    Thank you for sharing this–was fun to get to know your family a bit better 🙂

  4. This is so true! Living life shouldn’t be focused on what you can’t control. I love this life because of the chaos and unpredictability. It has made us strong and it has made us appreciate everything that comes along with it.

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