I had amazing plans for these school holidays.
What with my three boys (well, two of them, anyway) loving trains, my hubby unable to get time off work and my insatiable and extreme desire not to be stuck at home all holidays with three boys, I thought I might book a train to some city, interstate, for the boys and I, leaving Grumpy Pants some quiet time at home, and us go exploring and … stuff.
It transpired that a new fridge was required for the household, and deemed more of a priority than a couple of days holidays. Coupled with a few other plan-changing circumstances, I basically never got around to booking the trip and … well, we have no real plans for these holidays.
Except Godzilla, the ten-year-old, who has no less than three birthday parties in a week to attend … also a spanner in the working plan.
A movie here, a day out there, and as much work as I was possibly able to do in between all of this. The teenager was going to catch up with friends and go to the local pool a few times, and the five-year-old is trying to get his head around the concept of school holidays.
We even managed our weekly-when-we-can-manage-it-weekly Family Day on Sunday, which is what threw a spanner in our best laid plans for the school hols.
Yesterday morning, in fact, my plans to do some writing where interrupted by the more pressing need to visit the emergency department with the aforementioned thirteen-year-old … I have spoken previously, haven’t I, of boys being boys?
Well, it was one of those scenarios. A ‘boy being a boy’ one.
Nothing overly urgent or emergency in the visit to the ED, just pain from a fall, and quite a bit of pain.
It transpired that a barely visible fracture in his left wrist was the cause of the intense pain, and he was more annoyed that it was a) his left hand and b) he’d only get a week at school with his arm braced and, therefore, not likely to have the opportunity to indulge in as much sympathy as he’d like.
At the time of the fall – some 3-4 metres up a rock face, onto sand – I did one of my usual things. Generally, I’m the kind to fall about, laughing hysterically and unable to stop.
If, however, it is serious or scary enough, I go into Action Mode, where I am calm, proactive and go about things in a matter which can only be described as ‘perfunctory’.
I didn’t run, freak out or scream. I took a look, and saw he was moving, albeit grasping his arm, and I checked immediately for any abnormal formation of his wrist. I got it into cold water and … just went about business.
Later, I’m sure, I went into some kind of freak out, albeit internally, when I considered just how big the fall had been and just how bloody lucky he was that he hadn’t done himself more damage.
I saw plans for the holidays going to shreds … even the limited plans we had.
And then I learnt a few things:
1. Shit Happens
Regardless of your plans, ideas, expectations or whatever, there is a really, really good chance that something will go awry with them.
It may be a change in weather, someone gets sick, or someone decides they’d prefer to be in a narky mood and attempt to ruin things for everyone.
It may be the water is off for the morning, you’re out of coffee, or someone goes and breaks their wrist.
It may be small, barely discernible or irrelevant, or may be a major catastrophe that massively impacts on your life.
The thing is, we can get so caught up in how we envisage the day will go that any minor upset can appear to be a disaster.
2. Go With It
Some ‘gurus’ and personal develop experts use the phrase “be present” a lot (and assume that everyone has a clue what this entails).
It’s just as easy to get caught up in worrying about the past and when you’ve experienced a similar situation and all the bad stuff that happened with it, or the future, and how whatever is happening is going to affect what happens next.
Really, this situation is different to the last one that happened, and you really don’t know what will happen next until you’re up to the next bit.
Dealing with what’s going on at that moment in time is really all you can do, and to just focus on that will save you a lot of stress and worry and overthinking and help you to make effective, informed decisions.
3. Nothing Is Concrete
Except, perhaps concrete itself.
Sure, we have plans and we can be looking forward to stuff and some giant spanner comes in and shreds your expectations to pieces.
Plans can change, and if you work with what you have – we’ve talked about that before, too – and do the best you can with it, then you’ll be okay.
No promises that everything will be fabulous, because sometimes life can be really, really sucky and throw some really horrible, nasty spanners in your works.
You can, however, only do the best you can with what you have.
What I have right now, is a child who needs to climb as much as he needs to breathe, unable to use his left hand and milking the sympathy for all it’s worth – mostly via social media, as he’s pissing the rest of us off now. The novelty has worn off and he’s been sitting too long and needs to burn off some energy.
Unfortunately, he’s resorting to narkiness to expend this energy.
And I … I’m doing what I can, which is biting my tongue, sitting on my hands and trying not to stuff him in the letter box … but think we’ll still manage to go and see a movie, and have a day out, and do stuff ….
Also, I hadn’t planned on doing this post … but there you go …
I’m mildly impressed that we were on our first official day of school holidays and already have a break … how are you doing?