When Life gets in the Way of Plans

We were celebrating my mother’s birthday with a family weekend trip away to northern France. We arrived at a small holiday cottage in a pretty little village around teatime. At this stage in my life I was working as a Senior Brand Manager at Cadbury’s, I had a very busy social life, mostly around sport. So when I got up on the Friday morning around 8.30am I got straight into my running gear and announced I was off for a 30 – 40 minute run.

I left the cottage and turned right, I had decided to run alongside the straight road that run through the village. It was a grey morning and as I ran towards on-coming traffic there wasn’t a car in sight. All I could hear from behind me was the sound of a lorry that was picking up speed as it transitioned from the slow speed limit of the village to the faster road that I was running alongside.

It had been raining, as I ran I jumped over a large puddle, simultaneously I heard an enormous bang and everything went black.

In the blackness my first thought was ‘I am dead,’ I only heard the lorry before the bang and concluded that the lorry had hit me. But then I was aware of a cold dampness, my next thought was, ‘I am alive but in a deep black ditch and I will be left to die,’ so I started to scream hoping someone would hear me and rescue me from the ditch.

As the blackness went I was aware I was lying on damp grass, I tried to get up, a few people had gathered around me and were forcing me to stay on the floor. Some one covered me over. All my French had completely deserted me. I had no identification on me and did not know the address of the cottage we were staying in. It was my good luck that a women that had stopped saw an English car drive into the village the day before and knew what cottage we were staying in. She drove there an informed my family where I was and that I had been involved in an accident.

When I arrived at the hospital I could see my right leg was a mess, it was enormous around the top of the thigh and my right buttock. They wanted to X-ray my leg, however there was a possibility I could have been pregnant. Three weeks prior to the accident my partner and I had had a malfunction of our contraception and whilst we had no plans to have a baby we did nothing and were going to leave it to chance, knowing the risk was fairly small. The hospital staff took a blood test off to see if I was pregnant, after about 20 minutes the nurse confirmed I wasn’t pregnant and I was taken through for the X-ray.

Those two unplanned events changed my life. I have no way of knowing how I would have felt with a negative result had I not had a life threatening experience moments before. But in the dark moment lying on a hospital bed not knowing if I would lose my leg, I was deeply saddened by the news that I was not pregnant.

It took something really drastic to make me realise and acknowledge my deep desire to have a child. I am blessed that my partner felt the same way and even more blessed that I did fall pregnant in the following January only two short months after the accident.

In his book “selling the Invisible’ Harry Beckwith suggests a plan is just a plan not a result, he urges us not to get hung up on the plan. Beckwith states how important it is to have a strategy, but he argues that the tactics we employ are even more important. Strategy is what we would like or even what we think we would like to happen, where as tactics are what we do to make things happen.

There were so many things that weren’t in my plan the day I got hit in France by a car over-taking a lorry, but the tactics I deployed over the next few months changed my life forever. I am a women that likes structure so sure I make plans but I know life some times has other ideas for me, so I try to stay opened minded and I work on the stuff I can control and worry less about the stuff I can’t.

If you are always looking back to results or constantly thinking ahead to what you need to do, you may miss the opportunity that is right in front of you. I will end with this lovely quote “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.”

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