Last Updated on October 27, 2020 by Stacy Averette

Life. It’s all about how you handle Plan B.

My life’s been full of “Plan B’s”! How about you? Sometimes we tend to think of Plan B as Plan Bad—inferior to Plan A, the original plan we had in mind. But like so many experiences in life, it’s all about perspective and purpose.

We were supposed to be gathered as a family in Orange Beach to celebrate Eric’s birthday. The kids had taken time off and rearranged their schedules to spend a long weekend at the beach. We’d been planning for months to make this special time happen. At the last minute, just days before we were to arrive, our reservation was canceled. To say we were disappointed would be an understatement!

What now?!

The phone calls and text messages we exchanged as a family reminded me of a few things I want to share with you. You’ll also see what real life looks like when you’re forced to figure out Plan B.

Always Ask The Most Important Question

A few weeks ago I shared 20 Facts About Me. Here’s another fact I didn’t share: I tend to set my expectations high and get my hopes up. Some have said my expectations of myself and life are unreasonable. They’re not wrong. And I’m not sorry. I’m a glass-half-full kind of girl with big ideas and I’m always looking on the bright side. Life’s too short to live any other way in my opinion.

But here’s the issue for me: I have a hard time switching gears. I get an idea in my mind of how it’s going to look or play out and when it doesn’t happen, I’m deeply disappointed. I used to hate that about myself and would often deny and hide my disappointment especially when others would say something like, “Get over it. It’s not a big deal.”

I’ve learned something in my 54 years as a human being. Some people are uncomfortable with even an appropriate display of emotion and as a result, will rush to a solution.

Did you know that it’s okay to have feelings? You’re not a robot. The God-given emotions that allow you to love and inspire you to give and serve are the same emotions that cause you to feel sad, angry, and disappointed. I received the email that our reservation (all 11 days!) had been canceled just minutes before I left for work one morning, two days before we were scheduled to leave on our trip. I cried on the way to the office. Yes, I realize that having a beach condo reservation canceled at the last minute is a “first-world” problem. Yes, I considered how a recent hurricane had affected those involved and how another one in the same area would be devastating. But I’d gotten my hopes up and spent months planning a trip to be with my family and celebrate my sweet husband and I was disappointed.

I’ve learned to own my feelings—to feel what I feel and even to say what I feel even if others feel differently or if my feelings make them uncomfortable. I can feel sad, angry, or disappointed and express it appropriately without apology. And then I’m ready to move on. (It can be helpful if someone acknowledges your feelings or at least doesn’t discount them, but it isn’t necessary.)

So what is the most important question you should ask when making plans?

Why? What’s the purpose?

Asking this question changes how I plan and how I pivot when my original plan doesn’t happen.

Once I’d expressed my disappointment and cried a few tears, I started to think about why we’d planned the vacation to begin with? The answer was easy. We wanted to be together—all seven of us together in one place. (Those of you who have adult children know what a challenge it is!)

The beach is Eric’s favorite vacation destination and the kids have fond memories of our October family beach trips years ago so Orange Beach seemed like a perfect place to be together.

When I called or texted the kids to let them know about the cancellation they briefly expressed their disappointment but were quick to ask, “So how can we all still get together?” They knew what mattered most!

Our home is halfway between our two boys and an easy drive for our daughter and considering we only had two days to come up with Plan B, it was the best place for us all to be together in one place.


“The house isn’t ready for a family get-together,” I said to each of them. “It’s a mess and there’s no food in the pantry or fridge, hashtag empty nest!”

They all laughed and said, “Mama, we don’t care about how the house looks and we can figure out the food situation later!”

The rest of the week’s schedule was full to the brim and I wondered how I’d “get it all done”. And then I remembered that we’d all be together in one place and I took a deep breath and let it go.

This Is Real Life

Friday came and I could hardly stand it! I was ready to see all their cars in the driveway!

“What time are you getting here?” I texted each of them. (My mama used to call and ask me the same thing every time we were going to visit.)

I made sure the guest rooms were tidied up and ready for a long weekend. And then we went to the thrift store! Hey, they weren’t arriving for several hours so I had time! The “old me” would’ve gone crazy cleaning the house and cooking and then being too worn out to enjoy our time together. Instead, I just “hit the high spots” as mama used to say, and enjoyed the day!

So this is real life when plan B happens:

  • planning one meal at a time and making a few trips to Walmart
  • a bowl full of candy on the coffee table
  • Netflix, naps, and football
  • store-bought birthday cakes with fun decorations
  • paper plates
  • surprising Molly with a cake since her birthday is in October, too
  • “There are leftovers in the fridge if you get hungry!”
  • tall people, bad lighting, and blurry pictures

We had so much fun!

No one even mentioned the beach.

Funny Side notes: The hurricane evacuation order was rescinded after we’d moved on to Plan B. The tropical storm made landfall, turned west, and came right over our house dumping A LOT of rain on us all weekend.

Not so funny side notes: Hurricane Delta caused millions of dollars in damage in Louisiana. We are thankful no lives were lost (as of the last report I saw) but we are sad for the residents affected by the storm. Louisiana was home to us for a few years and will always be near and dear to our hearts.

We were together. I forget the rest.

-Walt Whitman

Monday came and the kids headed home. Our hearts were full even though the nest was empty again. Eric and I threw a few things in a suitcase and headed north to enjoy the rest of our Plan B Vacation. I’ll share that next week.

Thanks for stopping by!

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