What happens when your plans don’t work out?


Adventure is what happens when your plans don’t work out and you have to improvise. (This is the South Coast of Crete)

My plans in 2001 were to help develop a new product offering for Sun Microsystems. Unfortunately for my plans, Sun offloaded several thousand of us in an effort to become profitable.

As a result, in April of 2002 I found myself on the Southwest coast of the Island of Crete researching lost cities for a historical fantasy I was writing.

I had chartered a small boat so that my guide and I could explore sites of ancient cities accessible only by boat. As we moved eastward on the empty sea, the morning sun dispelled mist from the towering cliffs and turned the water the brightest blue I have ever seen.

Sometime during this morning, I realized that I had embarked on an adventure that would never lead back to working in a cubicle again.

It is now six years later and the memories of that research trip are still with me. It wasn’t a vacation. It was a learning experience of the highest order and it all came about because my carefully executed plans for a life in high tech did not work out.

I still make plans and strive to execute them, but if circumstances change for reasons beyond my control, I am reasonably sure that adventure waits ahead. It always has and is now something to look forward to.

May those of you currently facing adversity find a similar adventure on the other side.

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0 Responses to What happens when your plans don’t work out?

  1. Perspective says:


    I admire your spirit! And I’ll work to keep your experience in mind.

    After 5 companies I worked for were bought and shaken up, I went into contract (marketing) consulting.

    At 55 I’ve struggled a bit to put away enough to cover retirement (which I don’t see anytime soon…and don’t really seek) and the increasing costs of health care coverage.

    I find it’s increasingly important to my state of mind to avoid the news. The constant stream of macro problems that I’m not really likely to be involved in solving distracts one from the “adventure”.

    Looking for a new direction in a new state that I just moved to. Lots of opportunities to volunteer presented to someone with gray hair, but pursuit of something moderately remunerative and “worth doing” is the goal.

    I like the idea of seeking an adventure!

  2. Kathleen says:

    David, I appreciated this ocean image. We went to the same isolated coast by foot in 1973. It wasn’t easy, but I’m sure travel is more accommodating these days. Took a bus from Xania to the end of the route, walked, then hitched a ride in a flatbed truck up to the high plains of Omalos, then a full day walk til dark through the Gorge of Samaria to Hagia Romelli on the sea, where we stayed overnight with an old couple; we ate omelets, cooked outside by fire, and salad, and slept in an alcove under colorful, handwoven woolen coverlets by the light of shallow dishes containing olive oil fed wicks. From there, we walked a second day along the coast to get to Hora Sfakion, where there were buses.

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