Barbara’s life plan …

Ha! Do you really think I have a life plan?

Oh, I did once. I assumed I’d have my parents all my life, like every other child I knew. Then my mother died, and reality hit. Believe it or not, I was the only child in my whole third grade class who didn’t have two parents living in the home. Okay. Times have changed. Living with one parent isn’t unusual today. Back then, though, my loss was a huge thing.

David, Edythe, and girls

Being without a mother made me self-sufficient and, therefore, independent. It also made me adverse to making long-range plans, and while that may seem sad, it actually opened my mind to possibility. When I went to college, I became Bobbi, not Barbara. I mean, why not try something new? Likewise when I joined a sorority, ran for president of my dorm, got pinned (remember that?) to a really cool guy? I might not have done any of those thing if I’d had a plan.

I didn’t plan on getting a graduate degree, but after I got married, the jobs I was offered didn’t pay enough to support me and a husband in law school. So I fast-tracked a graduate degree and earned more.

I didn’t plan on having kids right away. But I got pregnant. Enough said there.

We waited (carefully) five years to have a second child – didn’t want the expense of two in college at the same time. Then I delivered twins.

I didn’t plan to write. But with three little boys to raise, writing was one of the few jobs I could hold back then that allowed me to work in the home. And then, once I finished my first book, I didn’t plan on making a career of it. But the second book sold, too, and the third, and I just kept going. Suddenly, I had me a career!

Which brings me to Blueprints. This book is about having a plan for life that suddenly doesn’t fit reality. The key to survival, I do believe, is our willingness to keep that open mind and make revisions.

Is any of this resonating with you? Any stories you want to share about your own personal blueprints that had to be changed?

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  1. sharon pratt on June 2, 2015 at 9:22 am

    I got pregnant right out of High School after a Doctor told me I didn’t need birth control pills because i couldn’t get pregnant without surgery. Less than a month later I was pregnant. I always wanted a lot of kids so I wasn’t unhappy just that now I was a single Mom. That was 46 years ago. I wouldn’t change a thing.

  2. Kc LaPietra on June 2, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    My Dad died when I was 9. Things were hard on my Mom so I grew up real fast. .I started working in Loehmanns when I was 13 (I had a friend who was able to get working papers for me).I almost graduated high school but I married when I was 17 and they do not let you graduate when you marry. I had my 1st son 1 week after my 1st anniversary…(funny how people counted on there fingers when you tell them in the 1st year that your pregnant)…My 1st son Christopher was born with cancer of the bladder and passed away when he was 7. I do have 1 healthy son who is going on 40 now but I did have 8 miscarriages….I always wanted a large family and a home. When you lose a child it can either break up a marriage or make it stronger..unfortunetly we broke up but stayed the best of friends. I have a wonderful husband now and a wonderful home for my retirement. I am blessed.

  3. del Altman on June 2, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    My husband and I planned on retiring and
    traveling, buying a old farm house to
    remodel, but he became ill and past away
    in 2007.

    I had major choices to make, sold our house
    and now have a condo.

    Life does not go our way, we have to
    adapt to the situation and look for
    new possibilities.

  4. Rebecky P. MacKinnon on June 2, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    My mother died a week after my ninth birthday. It left my father feeling sad and unsure about how to raise four young daughters. Also, I was told my mother was carrying twin boys shortly before her death from thymoma cancer. Mama learned about her cancer on her thirty-six birthday. Her death left me with a big void in my heart. I never married, and though I loved children, I have none. Often, I wonder how the blueprint for my life would have been different had I not lost my mother at such a tender age.

  5. Jennifer Farrand on June 2, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    I always thought that my husband and I would stay in Massachusetts near our families and raise our family. I planned to teach in the same school for a long time! Well, reality had different plans for us! We were blessed with twins in our first pregnancy. Our beautiful girls are now 22 and just graduated from college.

    Mike’s job has taken us all around the USA. We have moved 8 times in the past 17 years. Our poor girls had to go to 3 high schools. I have teaching licenses from 6 different states.

    It’s truly been an adventure, but a good one!

  6. Gail on June 10, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    What are the significant moments in life? Engaged to a young Air Force member when I graduated from high school, my mother convinced me to commit to one year of college while I waited for my man to come home. He married – someone else and I finished two years of college.I was on campus one sunny Califonia afternoon when I noticed a young women Marine Captain sitting by herself. Now my father was a career Marine and it just isn’t right to let a fellow Marine sit alone when you have time to share, so I introduced myself and, with dad’s encouragement and mom’s reservations, I signed on the dotted line as an officer candidate to be commission on graduation. I reported to Quantico, Virginia the fall of ’62. I met my Marine officer husband that same year, 10 years later I was a divorcee with a young daughter to raise, no career in site and no immediate family close by. It was happenstance that a manager where I worked ran across my rather impressive resume and asked “what the hell are you doing siting in that chair?” And to my reply, “who the hell are you,” he offered me the first step in a management career that spanned 37 years The rest is history and a success story worthy of a book.

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