Well, That Didn’t Go as Planned

detourWell, That Didn’t Go as Planned
Feb 8, 2017

No matter how well I plan my life, stuff happens. Notice that I said “I plan my life”.  I believe that is the primary problem…but that’s not today’s topic. I believe that the biggest Detour I’ve taken in my adult life has led me straight to this blog. As a kid, and then as a teenager, all I wanted to do was be an architect. I drew floor plans. I studied floor plans. I organized my life around this goal. But, one evening at a local gym I met this guy. He was tall, blond, and in the United States Air Force. It never donned on me what that would mean for my PLANS.

PLANNING! I am so good at that. I make lists. I make lists of lists. But I’ve had to develop, even more so, the skill of adapting (or Detouring if you will). This is difficult for someone with a personality that thrives on order. This rigidity in planning is where I find my peace. Detours upset that peace.

The detour that brings me to the point of writing this blog came the following Spring when that man and I married and I wasn’t able to continue pursuing a degree in ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN at Oklahoma University. Instead, I went to work in the bookkeeping department of a large bank. And as my husband was transferred time after time with the military, I found that I was changing careers continuously. I learned to reinvent myself with each move. This was actually fun to some extent. If I didn’t like what I was doing, I knew that soon we’d be moving and I could find a different “career”.

Eventually, I did go back to college. When our youngest daughter started kindergarten, I picked up my backpack and headed to class, also. BUSINESS MANAGEMENT at a community college in Arkansas. I was back in my element of learning. Then it was time to move…to Minnesota. At this point I learned that my academic life would be detoured, just like my original career plan had been.

But I was OK with that. I had discovered GEOGRAPHY and GIS, a wonderful new technology-based platform for mapping out city infrastructure. This was great. Loved the subject. Loved the classes. A wonderfully planned out career ahead of me. Then it was time to move…to Texas. With Universities all over the North Texas area, I figured I would just pick one and that would be where I would finish my degree.

DETOUR!!!! None of the universities near our home offered GIS degrees. I could drive an hour or more each way to a university that did, but with young children that wasn’t an option.  Now what do I do?

After a thorough search I found Texas Woman’s University, but the only degree plan they had that would accept all my class credits was…..wait for it…..MASS COMMUNICATIONS. That’s right. I was now in Journalism School; not only Journalism, but also Marketing, Advertising, Business Writing, Technical Writing, and Editing. I love this!!! No kidding.

So…seventeen years after moving to Texas (and 23 years after starting college again) I sit here in my quiet home office writing a blog, working on a novel, and talking about DETOURS.

While DETOURS are inconvenient, I realize they are not inherently bad. Yes, they are often inconvenient because it means that we have given up control of what we want to do or what we’ve planned to do. Detours can also be scary because they take us on a path that is either unknown or rarely used. But, they can also be a blessing and a lot of fun.


For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11  

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About D. Jodi Shumway

Wife, Mom, Daughter, Sister, Grandmother, Friend, Writer, Editor, Reader, CHRISTIAN.
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