From time to time, I have been known to bite off a bit more than I can comfortably chew.
Such has been the case recently; at the start of 2023, I decided to add a second university course to my already crazy schedule.
This was already on top of working full time, the two volunteer boards I sat on, my church duties and my photography sideline.
While I could maintain at a reasonably high level for quite a while, six months into the year, some things have started to give.
Where work is concerned, I have been able to stay on top of things; however, the school has started to slide. My one course is due to be concluded at the end of June and at this point, it is just not going to happen. My second course is reaching the halfway mark and I am barely one-third of the way through.
Fortunately, I do have the option of extending both courses; while the situation isn’t ideal it is what it is.
There was a time when I would have deemed being in this position a failure; instead, I’m deeming it a tactical readjustment. I’m going to push through, get these courses done, then concentrate on doing one course, well, at a time.
Former American President Dwight D Eisenhower is quoted as one-time saying “Plans are nothing, planning is everything.”
When I went into expanding my studies, I had a plan; unfortunately, with how busy life has been, that plan hasn’t worked out the way I anticipated.
The thing is, that’s okay. Plans can be re-evaluated and readjusted. They should be, continuously.
I used to plan things to the last detail, then be unhappy when things didn’t work out the way I envisioned. As I have grown into adulthood, I have come to realize that there is truth in Eisenhower’s words; at the end of the day a plan is a best-case scenario, however, the more planning for different variables one puts into it the more robust it becomes and the closer to the desired result you will have.
I saw this when I worked in the ambulance service as well. In our training, we had to learn and memorize a variety of different treatments and protocols for a wide variety of ailments that we would likely see in the field.
Each ailment had a protocol to follow; if the patient presents with A, we treat with B and follow to C. We had a plan we were to follow; the problem is that once we hit the field the patients we treated rarely were so cut and dried.
Instead, the patients often had multiple issues going on at once, ranging from diabetic issues to trauma to airway complications and more, all needing to be dealt with. With multiple things going on, the individual plans proved to be useless, but learning the plans we did was priceless as it gave us a baseline to work from. We would triage what is going on with the patient, and treat the most life-threatening situations first, but quite frequently, working as a team with my partner, we would treat multiple major issues at once.
The point is this, at the beginning of 2023, I had a plan. While I wish I would have been able to make the course load work out, it wasn’t for the lack of trying it just isn’t meant to be. At least not right now.
There was one time I would have seen this setback as a failure; now, I just see it as a necessary change so I can prioritize my energies and do well on the courses I do take while I am working, volunteering, and making an impact in my community; I’ll just have to do it one course at a time.