The Best Laid Schemes o’ Mice an’ Men Gang Aft a-Gley


Thank you to Robet Burns and his awesome poem,  To a Mouse, for the inspiration for today’s post. For those too lazy to click the link, this is where people got that nice quote “The best laid plans of mice and men go often awry.” Just doing my part to support National Poetry Month (#NaPoMo), all.

So, how did my best laid plans get all aft a-gley? (I love pretending that’s a curse word – moving on.) It starts with good intentions and ends in pain.

Thy Wee-Bit Housie, too, in Ruin!

I started doing the first round of #ROW80 last week. I made it strong Monday morning. My wordcount was in, my Twitter time was down, and I had contacted both of my instructors about my upcoming school work. I was set to start Round 2 off strong and obtain my goals.

On Tuesday, Nature decided it wanted to have other plans. I woke up feeling fine. Did my routine, everything’s going all right – oh. My side hurts a lot. That’s okay.

Work work work – PAIN.

Work – PAIN.


I decided that I wasn’t going to finish the day and I should just accept it.

Wednesday – PAIN. Finally bad enough that I get over it and go to the hospital. After, what seemed like, every test available to man, they found out I had kidney stones. I get a pat on the head, some sleeping pills, and get shoved out the door. Oh, and yeah – PAIN.

The rest of the week was a blur. I missed school work and deadlines at the office. Things just happened and I reacted while under a curtain of pain. No writing, no exercise, no poetry. Just me, the pain, and a small bit of tunneled vision that let me react to things happening in my immediate vicinity.

I finally (mostly) recovered yesterday, and I’m trying to climb back to my feet.

Still thou are Blest, Compared w’ Me!

So, for my entire week of #ROW80 updates, yeah. I failed miserably. But I’m here now, and I’m on track to make it this week.

It isn’t all negatives. Last week I did severely limit my Twitter time – to the point where most of my followers must think I died of pain. It’s time to make a comeback.

An’ Forward, Tho’ I Canna See, I Guess an’ Fear!

It’s a bit crushing to be so completely sidetracked for an entire week. I only get so many of these in an 80 day period, and already my best intentions seem completely useless.


There is some famous saying about horses and falling. I’m sure you know the one; no one wants me spouting terrible cliches all over this nice, clean blog. I mean, c’mon! It’s all white and – what was I talking about? Horses and cliches? Oh right.

You know, on second thought, even mentioning the cliche-ness of the horse cliche is too cliche. This isn’t a ironic blog – I’m not a hipster. But that’s a topic for another day. So yes. Fall off a horse, get back up, blah blah blah.

I’ve always had a series of honest questions that I ask myself whenever something like this happens, and I’m going to share it with you fine people.

1) Did I fail to meet my goals because they are too difficult? If so, can I change the goals?

2) Are my goals still obtainable inspite of my failure to meet them? If not, can I change the goals slightly to make them obtainable?

3) How discouraged am I by this failure? Will changing my goals help me recover, or is it a wasted effort?

For #ROW80, I’ve decided that I’m not discouraged. I had a medical issue; it’s over now and I’m fine otherwise. The failure was brought on by intense pain and my procrastination wasn’t at fault. My goals are still obtainable, there is no need to change them, and they are not too difficult – mostly because I set them to be itty bitty steps. I won’t try to recover what was lost, but I will try to pick up the pieces of my motivation from last week and I will continue forward.


So, that’s my story of how my plans were aft a-gley and how I’m recovering. (And seriously, read To a Mouse today. It might inspire you to look at your life a little differently! Go NaPoMo!)

How about it readers – when your plans fall through, how do you pick up your nest and rebuild? Is it by looking at the big picture, or do you inspect every corner to find the problem?


29 thoughts on “The Best Laid Schemes o’ Mice an’ Men Gang Aft a-Gley

    • Hi Kayelle! Thanks for stopping by!

      I used to have a (live) mouse ane he was the most adorable thing. I’ve been thinking of getting another. Convincing the SO that I need *another* pet is the issue. And keeping the cat away from the cage. Hmmm…

      Perhaps a ceramic mouse is the way to go – heh.

  1. For some bizarre reason, the horse cliche always makes me think of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. There’s a short story somewhere in that juxtaposition, but I haven’t found it yet.

    Yes, having a medical sidetrek is no reason to get discouraged. Glad you’re back on your feet, dusted off, and ready to…you know…the whole horse thing.

    • Hmmm… your comment reminds me that I really need to figure out what that Richard Laymon book was with the Apocalypse… it had sparked a really good idea a few years ago that I want to follow up on. Hmmm…

      Hipster Horse appreciates your kind words. (Hah – I crack myself up!) Thanks for stopping by, Katherine!

        • Oh no… now you have me paranoid! It was Laymon, wasn’t it? I read it years ago and loved it… something with a priest and the desert… and faking an apocalypse that then turned out to be real… Orz, my brains. Straining to remember something I read so long ago hurts.

          There is a slight possibility it was a Koontz book. I read a lot of his stuff at around the same time.

  2. Hey, medical issues is a valid excuse. But you’re fine now, so get cracking on those goals!

    Seriously, though, if you need to adjust your goals because you lost a week, you certainly should. This wasn’t a case of “oh, I don’t feel like it” as much as it was a case of “oh, I don’t–OMGOMGOMG-OWWWW!!!” ;)

    Don’t get discouraged. Forge ahead. :)

    • Why hello Miss Suzan! (I love the spelling of your name, by the way…)

      For some reason, I really hate the word “excuse.” If I can’t find a different word to describe it, it’s only an excuse and I should have done better. That’s why I’ve adopted “medical issue” to, er, excuse my lack of goal-making this week.

      Thanks for swinging by. Hope to see you next week!

  3. Pleasure to meet you :) Welcome to the ROW! Ack Kidney Stones. Not the best way to start the round. I hope they go away soon and you start feeling better. Remember, ROW80 is about knowing you have a life and working the goals around that. A rough week sucks but there’s plenty more good weeks ahead.

    Glad to hear that you’re not giving in to those internal questions. That said, here’s the deal.. If your goals do get too difficult, you CAN change them and make them more obtainable. Don’t let your pride get in the way of your goals. If you really need to change your goals, change them. Meet the modified goals. Once you can meet them regularly, bump them up a bit if you feel you need to. ROW is about building success. Don’t let it become a whipping post, unless you like that kind of thing.

    Have a better week and feel better!

    • Good morning Ryan! Glad you could find your way over here!

      The stones are gone (most uncomfortable workday ever!) and now I’m back to my spry old self. I even (shock) worked out this morning. It’s a miracle!

      I know this will sound silly, but thanks for that deal. It’s so hard sometimes to be your own judge, jury, and executioner… being that writing is such a “solitary sport” and all. The questions are there for if I need them, and it’s a great way to get out of NaNoWriMo :3

  4. Oh, Dahnya, sorry to hear about your health woes! Huge reason to forgive yourself for not keeping up with your goals!

    Head up and forge ahead. You seem to have a very realistic attitide, a huge advantage in this business. Good luck!

    • Thank you for your kind words, Miss Ruth. I even found what the trigger was! Did you know the body can’t handle over 4,000 mg of calcium? Mind. Blown. :3

      Hah! I’m glad you think I have a realistic attitude. It’s more of a “what am I getting myself into – might as well be positive” thing.

  5. Oh, dear. Kidney stones. Not good. However, they are ever so slightly better than a repetitive stress injury which will continue to punish you for working for the rest of your life. (Kidney stones just punish you. Period. Drink lots of water from now on.)

    As for falling off the horse: that’s just something to learn to be philosophical about. Don’t feel guilty. Just adjust your expectations for the unexpected.

    • Good morning Camille; welcome to the blog!

      I am feeling better now, and I know what not to do for the future. Sadly, I was drinking about 80 oz of water a day when it happened… but I also starting making protein shakes with coconut milk while still taking 1,600 mg of calcium through supplements. Apparently that much calcium is very, very bad.

      Thank you! I’ve gotten so many wonderful responses that the guilt I did feel is waning.

  6. Really, Dahnya, you are doing great just by getting back up after…yeah, that whole “horse thing”. It’s great to know that you’ve got yourself past the pain, and found yourself some inspiration by it as well. I always loved Burns’ poem. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Hah – that whole “horse thing.” It’s addictive to want to squash cliched terminology, isn’t it? My coworker is a linguist, and he’s very particular about what phrases I’m allowed to say during a day. I have a few days where I just say cliches and proverbs over and over (using QC’s lion idea – and it really yanks his chain.

      Thank you for stopping by, Eden, and for your kind words. I’ve always loved Burns’ poem as well. I’m hoping I can find more poetry-inspired updates (it was a lot less boring than originally written!)

  7. Okay…I laughed my way through your post. Love it!

    As for kidney stones. Been there, done that. It’s awful and my heart goes out to you. I was eight months pregnant with my 4th baby and I felt a lot of PAIN…couldn’t figure out why. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore and called my Dr. They sent me directly to the hospital where I was found to be in possession of a large kidney stone that was preventing my right kidney from draining! Well, proceedures and drugs later, I was right as rain again…but I will never, never forget that. I still shiver ….hmmm. Sort of like that car wreck you mentioned at the beginning. …but I digress.
    Anyway…ha! Have a great week! It is great to meet you.

    • Oh Nadja, you flatter me! I am secretly very happy that someone finds my gentle ramblings funny, however.

      Oh, Bob. Eight months pregnant with kidney stones? You’ve just won the PAIN award. I’m so sorry. That sounds miserable. But perhaps you can answer the question that everyone’s been asking me: are kidney stones actually worse than giving birth? I don’t have kids, so I can’t compare the pain!

      It’s great to meet you too! I hope to see you around again!

  8. Hi Dahnya, hope you’re recovering well. Thanks for dropping by my blog!
    BTW, the horse thing – I always look at it like this: you fall off, you get up and dust yourself down, and then you look at the critter and ask yourself “Do I want to get back on – or do I want to change horses?”

    • Hi Lee! Thanks for stopping by!

      Changing horses is a great way to put the hesitation you feel – and to describe my “self assessment” questions. I love #ROW80 and so I’d never change the horse… but maybe the accessories.

  9. Hi Dahnya. Glad to hear you are feeling better. Didn’t know too much calcium could do that… Thanks for dropping by my place. I love your post, so full of energy despite the pain. I have literally fallen on a horse, well it slipped in the mud and we fell together. This was back when I was 16 and spry. Today, I’d probably break something. Anyway you do dust yourself off and get right back on. If the dang thing doesn’t run away that is. Life happens and so we dust off and continue on. Have a great rest of the week and look forward to following your blog.

    • Not to be all doctor-ish about it, but too much calcium is actually the leading cause for kidney stones, not high salt intake (which most people assume). If you drink a lot of milk and very little water, you could be prone to some very painful days. Most stones pass with barely a second thought. It’s the big ones that cause the issues.

      I’m glad you enjoyed my post! I was feeling much better by the time I wrote it. I can’t write dull prose – blogging, tweeting, or in creative writing. Somehow my strange-ness just… shines. A lot.

      Thank you for stopping by Robin!

  10. So, falling off a horse really isn’t like falling off a bicycle but more of a decision regarding what horses you brought to the middle of the stream? Obviously, it is easy pour moi to gang aft a gley. So glad you are recovered. Your great attitude and sense of humor serve you and your writing well, I suspect.

    Have a healthier week and let us know about the writing!


    • Falling off a bicycle is easy. As Robin mentioned, sometimes the horse can run away if you aren’t careful! A bike just kind of lays there. Pitifully. Staring at you with big brown eyes. D’aw, it’s okay little bike… I’ll pick you back up again.

      Er, right. Anyway.

      My attitude and sense of humor are a lot like that running horse. They just sometimes gallop away with half of my train of thought!

      Thank you for your kind words, Karen, and it’s wonderful that you stopped by!

  11. Oh geez! I think the fact that you got to a blog post is a huge victory with all that pain going on!

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. About the bookending–I’m in Portland, so in the same time zone with you if you want to try to schedule some times to check in with each other. Let me know (just followed you on Twitter if you prefer to send a message there).

    • Oh! Peachy!

      I’m in need of organizing my life a tiny bit more before I start bookending, but it would be super awesome if you’d do that with me!

      Let’s Tweet a bit about it! I’ll be in contact soon!

      (Yay – excited Dahnya!)

  12. Hope you’re feeling better now. You’re right not to give up, it definitely wasn’t lack of motivation etc that stopped you writing, but I bet some people would have given up anyway.
    I look forward to hearing how your ‘first’ week is going on Sunday.

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