When I was growing up that phrase was used often and sometimes in conjunction with thither.
It meant you were not focused. Another way to say, ' running around like a chicken with it's head cut off'.
When I was growing up I often was not focused and just let life happen as it will. I thought of going to college, but had no real idea what to study for and didn't think to ask anyone.
I thought of being a teacher, but when someone said that was what all women wanted to be, I immediately decided I would not do that.
What I can remember wanting to be all along was a wife and mother. That did not take a lot of thought, no, really it didn't. It was what happened to girls. We became wives and mothers. And were good at it. I never thought any one was bad at it. Even if I knew people who ended marriages. I just thought they needed out of the marriage. I know, sounds silly now, but that was what I thought.
I met my special boy and we married. We moved far from our parents and siblings, a twelve hour drive away. We thought it was fine. Pretty sure parents were not so sure.
It worked for us.
It may have looked as though we were going hither and yon, changing jobs, moving into different houses, into different towns, but there was a plan. God's plan. It worked We have now settled within a few miles from my husband's boyhood home, and we love it.
Hither and yon may not be a bad way to travel through life.