by GSCA Member, Jackie Simmons 

I had plans for this year, I’m sure you did too. But as General Eisenhower is famously credited with saying, “In battle, plans are useless, but in peacetime, planning is essential.”

Before we started the common global experience of being in battle with a virus, we didn’t know we were in “peacetime” and we didn’t have a concept of needing to plan for a battle.

After all, how do you plan for something inconceivable?

Don’t get me wrong, I did have plans. I had plans for more of the same.

More of the same would have been nice. More training programs to attend, more events to host, more dinners with friends, more interesting places to visit, would have all been nice.

More of the same is no longer an option. And the planning we didn’t know we were going to need, is now happening, but it’s different.

Those of us old enough to remember “bomb drills” in school and the “bomb shelters” some of our neighbors built learned first fear that an atom bomb might fall on us, and then futility as the threat went away and the preparedness drills ended.

As a country, we apparently stopped making those kinds of plans. Plans for the unexpected, the unpredictable, and the uncommon. Plans we once would never have expected to need and that now, we’re faced with picking up the pieces of our comfortable plans for more of the same.

What do your pieces look like?  The avoided truth about plans going awry is that we all lose something in the process.

What have you lost? Facing the answer regarding what we’ve lost is the, often neglected first step in bouncing back from when our plans go awry. 

The second step to bouncing back it to give ourselves space to grieve what we’ve lost. It’s only after we allow the emotions of loss to surface that we can move into making new plans.  The shock, anger, fear, and most of all the frustration over not being in control of our lives and livelihoods, loses its power once we allow it to be felt and expressed.

So, part of the 2nd step is to find a friend or tribe to share your “loss story” with.

Step three is to begin again to connect with our optimism, our creativity, and our sense of safety.

Step four is to explore the idea that while “more of the same” would have been nice, it’s quite possible that “more of the same” would have paled by comparison with what we can collectively create in the openness left by the loss of “more of the same.”

Perhaps the greatest gift of this common global experience, is that we’re starting to talk about new things and we’re starting to make new plans. And this time we’re making them with the clear understanding that plans can go awry, and that now “Arwy” might simply look like “more of the same.”