Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

One thing I learned in this business is that things turn out other than you planned them to, no matter what it is. And you can't predict what's going to happen. Bill Danoff

That’s Bill Danoff talking about the song he co-wrote with Taffy Nivert, Take Me Home, Country Roads. They intended the song for Johnny Cash but John Denver happened upon it. Who knew.

Country roads
Take me home
To the place I belong

What I like about this tidbit is how it illustrates a truth: The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry. You can’t predict what’s going to happen in the future, no matter how well you think you planned things out. And sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

-That school you were planning to go to, but didn’t get into…you can go someplace else, which is where you belong.

-That person you thought you’d spend your life with…maybe it didn’t work out and you’ll find someone else, who is who you belong with.

-That job you knew had your name on it…someone else thought it was their dream job and you wind up with another, that’s right for you.

-The 2.3 kids you thought you’d birth the traditional way…maybe it doesn’t turn out that way, and you’ll have a family in a way you never expected (so to speak).

-The house, the car, the vacation, the retirement plan…maybe none turn out quite as planned, and you’ll have what you need, be where you’re supposed to be, and it will all be right for you.

The great part is that John Denver turned out to be the perfect person to sing that song. So don’t wish you could go back and change the mistakes, embrace the new ending. Figure out how to make it work for you.

Still thou art blessed compared with me
The present only toucheth thee
But ouch! I backward cast my eye
On prospects drear!

Robert Burns, To a mouse, on turning her up in her nest with the plough

Hear the NPR interview and see a video of John Denver singing Take Me Home, Country Roads.

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