… other plans.”

It’s not often that I look to John Lennon for input on my life philosophy, but this is one case where his words ring oh-so-true. The family wedding was over, and it was gorgeous! My 15 year old headed into his final exams to finish out his (thankfully) successful transition as a freshman in high school. Memorial Day and the loooonnnng weekend were headed my way with a wide-open calendar, when WHAM! The phone rang at midnight. Never a good thing.

My sweet mother-in-law had been rushed to the hospital, very ill but nobody was quite sure exactly with what. My heart started pounding, and the anxiety built. Too soon. It was much too soon after my own father had died to even begin thinking about losing another one so loved.

Fast forward to Memorial Day. She is home and doing well. The miracles of modern medicine have done their work once again, and she is recovering in her own home. My heartbeat’s slowed to normal, and all is safe. But what has this taught me? What’s MY lesson to be learned?

To borrow from another kitchen table philosopher, my good friend Anne, ‘as soon as you think you’ve got it all together, you don’t!’ Amen, sister. I’ve finally had to face the fact that there is no perfect point – no matter how hard I search and try to make it real – when everything is on even keel, taken care of, safely stable, all at the same time. It just doesn’t happen. As uncomfortable as it makes me, change IS life. Change … change for the better, for the worse… richer, poorer… sickness and health. You got it.

So what’s my new mantra? “I am ready for everything.” While I don’t (as my mom used to say) ‘borrow trouble’, I am coming to accept that the only constant IS change, and that keeping my own center in the midst of life’s ups and downs is the ONLY thing I really have any control over.

Maybe you’ve already realized this, and you’re better at it than I am. What lessons have you learned about life happening that you can share with us? Does it blindside you when something happens out of the blue? Or have you learned how to accept it as just one more way that life happens.

Let us know? And let’s learn from each other.