Best laid plans, and all that

As I've shared, this joy thing does not always come naturally.  And one of my biggest joy stealers snuck up and bit my tooshie these past few weeks.

If you've ever taken a Meyers-Briggs test (fun to do and surprisingly accurate) you'll know about the "P" and "J" designations.  People who test out as a "P" are loosey-goosey types, they go with the flow, they're all "Whatever, man" and "Chill, dude."

J's?  Not so much.

J's like to know what is going to happen.  J's plan.  They research.  They are the ultimate duck trainers... all of them in a row... nice, straight, even, yes.  Ahhh.

Take a stab at what I am.

If life took a Meyers-Briggs test it would definitely not come out a J.

We recently embarked on an odyssey from Texas to Rhode Island for a family reunion.  I had taken up writing again after an 18 month break, and was committed to writing daily.  So I packed up my laptop and my notebook and my bible.  Ducks?  Row!

Part of the fun of this odyssey was that I was older than the next oldest passenger by 27 years.  This made me the only legal driver in the bunch.  So I drove.  And drove.  And drove.  1900 miles each way.  31 hours of driving.  Each way.  We did it in 3 days, each direction, breaking our previous time of 4 days in one direction.  Yay us!

If you do the math, you might realize that this leaves approximately no time to write.  At least during the traveling part.

I did write.  There was one fabulous night in which there was a great convergence of writing time and internet connection.  That was the first night.  After that, I had one or the other, or more often, neither.  And to be honest, that first night, I stole time to write from sleeping time.  It didn't feel wise to continue that strategy.

Once we made it to our destination, all our time was filled with family.

So home I came to two and a half weeks of no posts.

Being born a glass-half-empty gal, it was mighty tempting to just say "Forget it.  You might as well stop writing now, you're never going to have the consistency it takes."

But God has been working on me for long enough that I recognize that kind of thinking as futile.  I may be a J but life isn't and it never will be.

It has been a struggle for me to accept the unexpected. One of the things that has helped me (given my personality) is to expect the unexpected.  To plan that things over which I have no control are going to come up, and scatter my pretty ducks.  This may sound strange (how can you plan for something unexpected?) but thinking in this way has freed me up to enjoy the ride more.

It also helps that I have grown to totally trust God, and to understand that my vision is miniscule compared to His.  I have had enough happy-ending-adventures involving chaotic ducks, that I find myself more quickly shaking myself out of a near-panic, even when the ducks start alarmingly morphing into geese and chickens.

And of course, when the ducks get settled down, and the random poultry sorted out, I've learned to just keep doing the thing. 

But I do wonder if it is easier to steal joy from a J than from a P?  What do you think?


  1. Hmmm. That is very thought-provoking. My gut would say, "yes" to your question. I think those P folks probably giggle when their ducks start hopping instead of marching. This J wants to shoot those disobedient ducks. I imagine a P wants to photograph their whimsical path.

  2. As a card-carrying J, and a genetically programed left-brained linear thinker, I can attest to the fact that the world does not like its ducks lined up for more than 5 minutes per month.

  3. Hey - you guys wanna go do something? I don't know - just fool about, see what happens?

  4. You're a J Brownium! No faking!


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