Keep Calm…(scream into a pillow)… And Carry On

I simply hate that things rarely go as planned.  I am a planner.  I have a vision for how things should go and I plan accordingly.  Funny thing is… it never seems to go down that way.  Life, as the saying goes, has a funny way of getting in the way.

Recently, I was blissfully enjoying an idyllic vacation in Hawaii.  I knew I had several weeks before Christmas and therefore plenty of time to finish my shopping, get things shipped, bake cookies, and basically get my holiday jingle on.  While there, I found out that my mom was scheduled to have an emergency knee replacement the following week.  On the phone with Mom, I heard myself saying all the correct things: “Of course I’ll fly home that week to help with rehab and recovery.  No problem… I’ll be there.”

Hang up phone.  Panic!  Pace!  Scream!  Whine!  How in the world was I going to get everything done in time?  What about all my carefully laid plans??  What about my beloved schedule??  What about me??

That’s when I took a very long, very strenuous walk and several gigantic deep breaths.  Acknowledge – move on.  Crap happens and I have to learn to deal with it.  All along I knew what I HAD to do. The biggest step for me, as always, was to realize I wasn’t going to change it.  Life would go on.  Adjustments would be made.

And you know what?  I’m just about ready.  Gifts were mail-ordered instead of hand-picked.  Cookie recipes were cut to just a few.  Holiday cards were written in a one-night marathon session with no personal notes inside.  Promises were made to “The World’s Dorkiest Cat” that extra love and attention would be paid after the holidays.  It is what it is…. and it will be just fine.

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Do Unto Others… As They Want

Sometimes, it is not all about me.  You may not find that surprising, but I always do.

Last weekend I went on a mother/daughter road trip.  Me, my sister, and Mom.  The idea was to use this trip as a birthday present for my mom.  Great idea in theory, very risky in practice.

All three of us have preconceived notions of what constitutes an enjoyable trip.  Also, as all families do, we each have our predetermined role we play.  My role is that of planner, travel agent, etc…  Where we go, what we do, where we eat (and many times, what my mother orders) always seems to be up to me.  I come by this role honestly.  It’s what I do and anyone that knows me knows I plan everything!  I have menus planned for two weeks out.  I have my weekly workouts done a month in advance.  I make lists, I research, I have lists of things to add to my lists!  But not this time… this time I just let things happen.

Not that I was totally unprepared.  This trip was the daughters’ gift to Mom, so besides the destination, obviously there were hotel arrangements and driving directions to obtain.  But really, other than that…. I let go.

Was every stop and every activity as I would have planned it if it was just my husband and I?  Absolutely not.  But then again, it wasn’t all about me (again – gasp!).  We stumbled upon restaurants and went back to find places we passed earlier that looked interesting.  We surveyed maps and decided what we would do together.  There were some very pleasant surprises, and some rather humorous disappointments.  But you know what?  A grand time was had by all… particularly my mother.  And seeing her have a good time and truly enjoying herself was what it was all about after all.  Besides, I can always go back and check out that zoo on my own sometime!