Surprise Inside
Part of the Plan

Learning While Flailing

This year, when I set out with my word (intention), I decided on a few goals for myself.  I wanted to . . . 

  • make deliberate choices and act on purpose
  • be clear about who I am and why I'm doing
  • accept aging with grace, humor, and a bit of kickass
  • live my best life every day

And, generally, I feel like I'm figuring things out and making connections and feeling pretty good about the progress I'm making so far.


But I'll admit that his month, I struggled.  I don't know that I'd go so far as to say that May was a total fail when it came to me and intention, but I certainly did lose my footing for a while there this month.

I started May knowing exactly what I wanted to do.  I had a clear set of goals and intentions for myself, and I fully expected to just roll right through with my plans.  But things broke down along the way.  Life happened: I took a weeklong trip, Spring exploded and suddenly there were new tasks and schedules and seasonal things to do, unexpected stuff popped up that I needed to deal with.  Spinning. Out. Of. Control.

What happened?  

Now that I've given myself some time to process, I think it's this:  Intention needs to meet reality.  You see, I can be really clear about what I want to do and in which direction I want to head out in.  But if I don't also anticipate potential obstacles I may encounter along the way, I'm just going to end up frustrated. In May, I was thinking magically -- ignoring my calendar and the change in routine that May always brings.  

I wrote something in my journal way back in January:  Intention is more than wishful thinking -- it's willful direction.  This month, I learned what that means:  "Willful direction" needs to include reality.  Intention is making deliberate choices and acting on purpose -- but it also requires anticipation, planning, and flexibility.

(I always learn the best stuff when I'm flailing.)

How about you?  How are you doing with your word this month?




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It sounds like May was a good month for learning and intention, flailing or not! I love what you wrote in January, but really learned this month. Intention is key, in concert with reality, flexibility and adaptability.

My own balance is proving easier to find, and I've learned that I need to keep breathing when I'm flailing out of balance.


I think that your flailing provided a good learning experience. You're absolutely right that our plans aren't always compatible with real life. Flexibility is key -- we can intend to do things a certain way as much as we want, but we don't always get a say in whether or not they actually happen.


We never learn anything without some flailing (and even failure) along the way. I'm glad you are still growing with your word and learning how to incorporate it into your reality. Be kind to yourself, friend.

kim in oregon

Definitely the flexibility is key. Without that we're just plowing through.


Not gonna lie .................this month was a bit of a sh*t show and I will not be unhappy to close the door on May.

I think a bit of refocusing is needed before I open the door to June.


Your post really hits home as any intentions I had this month are thrown out completely. I am building a new life out of the ashes of my old. Flexibility is SO important. Life has a way of forcing you to slowdown, reassess, and rebuild when you least expect it. I have learned this lesson so many times. It's a tough one. Love your self for all its weaknesses, as well as its strengths. xo


I like what Carole kind to yourself friend! Things come out. of. nowhere. Here's to flexibility and the best of intentions. xoxo


Sounds like May was a pretty hard/difficult month for a lot of people. It also sounds as though your flailing has paid off though. I think that is often the case - flailing can bring renewed/increased attention/order/focus.

I've abandoned my word I guess - haven't really thought about it (strength) and it just doesn't seem right for me (but I have noticed some increased energy thanks to my workouts and walking!!).


In my world, "goals and intentions" are mostly "hopes and dreams." Haha. Here's to JUNE!


I am so glad that I am not the only one who struggled in May with my word. I love your idea of "willful direction" and yet you acknowledge there must be flexibility. I think I forgot that as I began May - but I learned as the month went on that being flexible is crucial to success in all things.


I like that willful direction. June is just around the corner.

kathy b

I guess Travel was the word for me this month. Im exhausted today. We came home so late friday and kept up the pace with visitors until today. Then Fireman wanted to take down a tree. I need a weeks sleep , I really do.
But , we did prepare for travel, travel well, and travel to a new and wonderful place together.


These monthly check-ins are so helpful! A lot of us struggled with May for a host of different reasons, but it does seem like our words offered new perspectives and helpful lessons. Here's to June!

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