Present Tense

Is that a unicorn I see?

The cosmos has seen fit to teach me another lesson over the past few days.  I wish it was a new one, but it’s not; same lesson, different day.  Someday it’ll sink in. The lesson is:  planning, schmanning.  Is that a word?

Planning is my forte, my air, my area of extreme expertise.  It makes me feel as if I’m competent and in control and leaving no stone unturned.  I think it’s also a way to avoid being blamed when everything falls apart.  “But I did everything I could!!”

When I made the decision to move from Colorado to Michigan many months ago, I contacted the telecom company that serves our farm to find out about installing a broadcast line.  I wanted to know well ahead of time that I would be able to continue my morning radio show in Denver, even though I would no longer be in Denver.

I was assured by several reps that all was well.  We had a date set to install this special line.  I moved 1500 miles with every confidence that I’d be connected in no time.  HA!  Two days after my scheduled installation date, they informed me that my lifeline to my job was not going to happen.  Seems that nobody had actually checked on the technical availability.

So much for planning.  After a weekend in full-blown panic mode, I turned it over to a higher power:  the radio station’s engineers.  Something I probably should have done months before.   The illusion that if I am in charge, if I expend the energy, then things will go my way blew up…again.

All is well.  We are using a different (and cheaper) technology to beam me back to the studio in Denver.  In fact, I must admit that one of these engineers suggested this technology from the get-go, but I insisted on using what I was familiar with, even though my technical expertise is…um…well…limited.

Letting go. I was forced to turn it over to someone else.  We all have a lot of balls in the air and it’s very difficult to let one drop. It’s nearly impossible to just let them all drop.  Too scary.

We have this cultural ideal that we can never give up.  Don’t give up.  Don’t be a quitter.  Only losers quit and only quitters lose.

I’m calling bullshit on that.  Give up.  Give in.  Let go.  Let someone else take over.  There are people that will line up to help, to ease your burden, to solve a problem, to offer advice and guidance, but we have to open up to these offers.

When I finally made the shift from clinging to my old idea of how my broadcast HAD to be accomplished and embraced the new technology, I heard angels singing and saw unicorns dancing in the yard.  I actually felt a release out of the top of my head; mind blown.  “It doesn’t HAVE to be this way.  It can be THIS way”  Release your grip and check outside for unicorns.


July 13, 2013 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , ,


  1. I just read this outloud to my husband Jane as he is making me breakfast (yes he’s a saint!). He laughed and said you could learn a lot from Jane cuz this is me too. Thanks for sharing. Heavy stuff, but a learning event none the less. So happy for you and of course us loyal listeners. Cuz we love you!! Enjoy!!

    Comment by Stephanie Sanford | July 13, 2013 | Reply

    • Stephanie,
      Thanks for the note. Glad you’re husband got a chuckle:)

      Comment by janelondon | July 13, 2013 | Reply

  2. Such great advice and I’m finding that the older I get the easier it is to do. And when I actually let someone else take over the relief is amazing. Thank you, Jane, for nudges in the right direction. Looking sooo forward to Monday when everyone is right back where they belong.

    Comment by Paula McClure | July 13, 2013 | Reply

    • Paula
      A bit of wisdom does seem to come with age, eh? Thanks for commenting. Talk to you Monday!

      Comment by janelondon | July 13, 2013 | Reply

  3. Planning and organizing is a skill that not eveyone has or wants. I think it’s a great attribute to have. My friends call me “Ms Planner” because I have this “bring it on” attitude for planning. I get criticized because they say I should be a litlle more spontaneous or leave the planning to someone else. I like the control part of planning and it does give me a sense of fulfillment. I have had to let go of some of the responsibilities and leave it to others. I don’t mind if it’s something I’m not proficient at.
    Jane, it sounds like you have had a busy couple of weeks settling in to your new digs. Congrats on your move and I wish you, Prince Charming, Chili, and Junior all the best in your new home! Looking forward to hearing you Monday morning….:)

    Comment by Mireille | July 13, 2013 | Reply

    • Mireille,
      Your friends just might have a point. I used to pride myself on my ability to plot and analyze and plan, but it turns out that life has other ‘plans’ for us:) In a world that we share with billions of other humans, thinking we can really control our destiny is kind of silly.
      Organization and control are probably two different things, but certainly they share many characteristics. The funny thing is, I know that everything will work out, that I’ll solve problems and find solutions in a timely manner and yet, I still am compelled to try to be 5 steps ahead. It’s dawning on me that it’s a waste of time and I end up missing alot of good stuff, moment to moment!
      Glad you wrote.

      Comment by janelondon | July 13, 2013 | Reply

  4. Jane, I felt the relief just wash through this blog. Good for you!

    Comment by Karen | July 13, 2013 | Reply

  5. Jane – the part of your blog that said people want to help really hit home with me…. it’s so easy to forget this! This was shown to me (I often times forget and need it SHOWN) about a month ago when, at the end of our move from one home to another we REALLY needed help! With just 1 day left we had a dozen boxes, hanging clothes, the fridge to empty and clean, etc… and everything (or so it seemed) fell apart! One of my twins (age 4) broke her arm on the 2nd night in our new place. My wife was diagnosed with strep and was in bed. I was looking at everything we had to do at the new place and freaking out about the tasks at the old place too! As the planner of ALL in our family I was “losing it”!! I put out a plea on FB for just 30 minutes of anyone’s time to come move a box or 2 at our old place – it as REALLY hard to ask for help. The next day, not knowing who would or would not show up to help, we went to the old place. It was amazing – it was ALL and I mean ALL done in 1 hour!! People were happy to help!! 🙂 Stephanie

    Comment by 2 Moms 3 Kids | July 13, 2013 | Reply

    • Thanks for the insight. I think that most of us ‘control freaks’ are that way for a couple of reasons, one of which is to prove our competence; our usefulness. To ask for help might undermine that feeling that we can do it all. If we can’t be in control, what good are we?
      Asking for help is an act of humility and that needs to be seen as a good thing, rather than weakness. I applaud your willingness to give in and accept help from those who love you. It’s a great lesson for all of us.


      Comment by janelondon | July 13, 2013 | Reply

  6. I say this ; there is a difference between quitting and surrender. 🙂 namaste.

    Comment by kandisnz | July 13, 2013 | Reply

  7. Always check for Unicorns before letting Chili and Junior outside. Glad things worked out Jane.

    Comment by Tim | July 13, 2013 | Reply

  8. Wheeeewwww!!

    Comment by marge beem | July 14, 2013 | Reply

  9. Ah, Little Sis…
    Yes, I remember my “perfectionist” days and the “I can do that/everything myself!” attitude of my youth. I finally learned to say “NO” – and to ask for help in my 40’s; and haven’t looked back, much. It did take some years before I totally silenced that little voice that said “I can do that/everything myself” – but the wait was worth the final freedom of my spirit. Plus there really is someone (actually lots of someones) out there that is smarter and more proficient at solving the task at hand than I am. Whew, what a relief!!!!!

    Keep Ommmmmmminng!

    Comment by Big Sis | July 15, 2013 | Reply

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