Flow with the Unexpected

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Today didn’t go as planned. And that’s okay. Going with what needs to happen or simply is presented to me is a strength and weakness of mine. I kind of love it when things fall apart and I have to make things work in chaos. I also can be incredibly frustrated when plans – good, quality, well-prepared plans – go awry. Today was a third variant: general expectations that simply flowed in a new direction due to external circumstances.

I imagined Sunday to be relaxing and productive. Food prep for week, work preparations, a fun party for my niece, maybe shopping at VV, getting a new toilet, maybe a walk. Lots of moving, coming, going, doing.

Sunday arrives. Baby was up at 6:30. Pretty typical. We got up and played and hung out and I got to work prepping some food for her and us for the day. I woke up my husband a bit later (Sundays are his sleep-in day) and he took her for a long walk. There ensued a breather of rest and productivity as I made and ate a peanut butter/banana smoothie, watched the end of Date Night on Netflix, organized some of my writing papers, baked some bread, changed sheets & put in laundry, checked email, read some articles from Mothering online. Amazing what an hour can buy you! When husband got home, baby was adorably asleep in the stroller so I continued my productive/relaxing streak. I sorted postcards I’ve collected on my travels and selected some to put up on my writing inspiration board. [why do I love listing what gets done? why? I think it’s a sickness. I hope it doesn’t progress].

We tackled one task we’ve not been looking forward to. Our renter wants to move out before her lease is up so we agreed to see if we can find a tenant. The stress of looking for someone new wipes both of us out. I find it incredibly emotionally draining as my sympathy overdrive imagines the devastation of each person we don’t rent to. We posted our revised ad online on two popular sites. Done.

Knock, knock. Brother-in-law and two kids come by, so glad to see them. Shortly after, baby wakes up. We nurse, she plays with them, I realize we need to leave in 10 minutes to get to niece’s birthday by 11. Mad, mad dashing around as laundry is hung, baby & mom are cleaned and dressed, diaper bag is packed, food is organized, and we’re out the door only 15 minutes late.

About 10 minutes before arrival my husband points out steam pouring off the car hood and the raised temperature gauge on the dash. He cranked the heat and we made it there. On arrival the various mechanically-inclined members of the group surveyed the damage and created an action plan.

The party was great. Just family, so smallish (9 adults, the two babies). Relaxed. Moved at the babies’ pace. Good food and conversation. Babies unwrapping gifts :). Lots of baby playing, eating, screaming, chasing. One awesome scene where they were chasing each other back and forth down the hallway, walking & crawling, then calling to each other from the far ends.

After relaxed baby-partying and eating my husband went out to get the part to fix the engine. This took a while as they didn’t have it at the store as they said they did so it had to be driven over. Then when everyone was back engine repair began. In the meantime, I continued visiting, nursing baby for a brief nap, and visiting more. Much walking around of baby and preventing baby collisions or overly-enthusiastic greetings between the two.

Then we ate. Dessert. Peach cobbler, blueberry pie, birthday chocolate cake. There was supper available but I wasn’t hungry for it.

Then with the car engine cooled, husband and BIL finished work on the engine. It was after 6 by now. I bathed baby together with my sister/niece and put her in a clean shirt to be bed-ready. A while later she was ready to nurse  and she nursed and bottled herself to sleep in my arms as the family regathered in the living room to talk. We stayed to talk for a while, reveling in family time, and finally headed home. Baby transitioned well to the car seat and then to bed where she’s still sleeping.

And now? Well, another mad dash to prepare for the week (laundry, kitchen cleaning, diaper bag prep). Getting this done efficiently as a team is something my husband and I have fallen into pretty easily. And then my husband hit the phone and I hit the emails, calling back prospective renters.

Today was supposed to be run-around fun-tasky. Instead it was family-centred time-intensive and mad-dash priority-week-prep. As the hours ticked by at my parents’ (8+ hours, really!) I didn’t worry and didn’t care. I wasn’t perturbed that I haven’t picked out my wardrobe for this first full week of work. I wasn’t upset that we don’t have a menu plan, food made or anything ready for the week. We got to spend time with family in a way we don’t get to often, and it was great.

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