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There's no Plan A

Nancy Carroll and her husband, Jan, turn donuts into art and hang them from the walls on the downstairs floor of their apartment in the Emporia Arts District. Their intriguing space of whimsy and high art doubles as an “open studio” for the public to enjoy as part of the Ontario Art Walk once a quarter. I got to see this space, meet Nancy and taste her wares, along with exploring and meeting dozens of other super-interesting and talented artists and urban dwellers in downtown Ontario, Calif. on February 15, 2020.

During this "Artists Date," where I immerse myself in something creative and fun just for the sake of exploration, I trekked to the evening event along with a couple of similarly creative and game university students from California Baptist University. The leader of their pack was one of my favorite budding public relations practitioners, a talented writer and editor and all-around cool girl, Casey Maldonado, who I had met during regional professional Public Relations Society of America functions this fall, and reunited with in class during my guest lectures at her campus.

I enjoy the opportunity to hang out with Gen-Z'ers outside of the classroom when I can, so this evening was fun for me, savoring their youthful enthusiasm, playfulness, curiosity, and ability to "stay in the flow." Plus, I got to experience the eccentric vibe of the up-and-coming arts and culture district of Southern California's major distribution and transportation hub, and delighted in observing that the city of Ontario has had such success in reviving part of its downtown core.

So, back to Nancy Carroll's philosophy that there IS NO PLAN A.

Quite simply, my takeaway from her startling observation--so well put, I thought--is that all of life is meant to be lived savoring each special moment of creativity and humanness. It aligns perfectly with my own life philosophy. I have often maintained with my coaching clients, and students, that you can not know what is on a path until you set out on it. And, with each step on that path, the next thing presents itself to you--something you would never have learned, encountered, or experienced had you not been on the path. And, that it's all meant to unfold as it does. It only requires patience and faith, and a certain wonder, to see your life the way it is meant to be. Nancy said it this way:

"...when I start out, I can manage one step because that's far as I can see, and you get through and you take another step. I'm always in the process somewhere and it's all a wonder to me.

So, yeah, there is no Plan A."

Nancy and Jan started the Museum of Donuts in 2013. Read more about their adventure here.

Below: Nancy Carroll takes the latest batch of delectible donuts from her oven during "open house" at her art-loft apartment which doubles as the Museum of Donuts in the arts and culture district of downtown Ontario, Calif. Ontario Art Walk on Feb. 15, 2020


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