this post is in some ways on the heels of my last post. actually, in all ways it’s on the heels of my last post, and it relates to what i wrote last tuesday.

we were pleased (i wanted to use the word ‘fortunate’, but after my last post, i caught myself thinking that i may contradict myself. more on contradictions later – like ‘on another day’ later.) to have a set of the girl’s grandparents in town this past weekend. i know, ‘a set’ seems like a rather odd phrase, but there are four of them (couples that is) and they travel in pairs, or sets. that expression seems to make them sound inanimate, but, rest assured, they are living, breathing humans, that aided in the raising of either r or me.. ‘raising’? why am i so stuck on language today? i can’t help but think of farm animals when i hear, or write, the word raise. we were not farm raised (even though we are wisconsin born. speaking of wisconsin – twelve and “o” and roses. feels good.), nor were we in cages, however we were grain fed, and i imagine there were chemicals and antibiotics in our diets – don’t eat my eggs.

while our ‘set’ was in town, we kept busy. we had a – holiday light seeing, santa lap sitting, tree getting, parade watching, pizza eating, holiday decorating, football watching, bird feeding, mountain viewing, ginger bread house making, football throwing, polenta eating good time (the tofu was not met with as much enthusiasm.). ‘the set’s’ departure was hard, as always, with the girls cry/singing their names as we left the airport. h. gave a little whistle noise to call them back to the car – she’s good for providing moments of levity.

we had some rather enjoyable moments that we didn’t plan, and had we, they would have been stressful and time-consuming. surprise number one came when we arrived at the botanical gardens ‘galaxy of lights’. h. was sleeping in the back seat, a. was talking away, r. and i were trying to ‘discuss’ directions, and ‘the set’ were listening to us all and getting their first glimpse of the city. we pulled into the botanical gardens and to our surprise there was ‘santa’s workshop’. why not? the girls, more specifically a., had their first encounter with santa, a reindeer, bubble snow and ornament making. perfect, we moved on. lights were great. surprise two: our neighbors/friends were at the tree farm. we had wanted to introduce our ‘set’ to them. surprise three: we went to eat downtown, were reminded, by the people lining the streets, that northern alabama’s largest parade was going to take place, we parked, ate a relaxed meal, and came out to find our car positioned on the parade route. we hopped in our car and watched the hour and a half, yes, hour and a half parade – from our car.

watching the parade from our car.

had we allotted time for santa’s workshop, planned to meet up with the neighbors, or waited for the parade, i don’t think any of those events would have been as enjoyable, due to the fact that we would have anticipated, over-planned, and waited for them to take place. i especially think that waiting for the parade, planning when to eat, deciding where to park and sit on the parade route, would have been, well, annoying.

i am a planner. i enjoy: anticipating, readying, and executing an outing, event or plain old day at home. ‘covering the bases’ and thinking through scenarios that may come up – excites me. perhaps, that is odd to some – unless you too are a planner, then you understand the feeling of having taken into consideration that the kids may count all ninety-three cheerios in their snack bags (because they just learned to count to one hundred, wanted to show their family, and were using the cheerios to keep track) and wonder why someone has more than them. nope, not in my snack bags. ninety-three in every bag. this is an aspect of my personality that made me successful at my previous job, and annoying as hell, at times, to live with at home, or be around when gearing up for an outing. r. is a planner, but more of a ‘long range’ planner. she sees the big picture and the big steps that it takes to get to the big goals. i see the many little steps to have a successful painting session. they work together, but i am finding quite a bit of value in letting go of the reins, and enjoying what comes our way. relaxing? kind of.

i don’t think i will ever lose my need/ability to be sure that things can go as smoothly as possible, but you can’t possibly take everything into consideration (i don’t write that thinking that i am proclaiming anything new. i am simply reminding myself that this is true, and reminding other, um, nut-jobs like myself that this is the case. especially as the holidays approach and the demands of planning intensify), like i used to think, you can’t possibly waste time/life waiting and planning without losing time/life, and i am a fan of time and life. this past weekend helped me expand my understanding of ‘going with the flow’. i used to think, or am still working on changing, that if i didn’t account for every possible situation that may arise in my day, that i would fail, and that i would be taken by surprise. that’s it. i am afraid of surprises. i want control. (every birthday i remind r. – a few hundred times – that she is not to surprise me, she thinks i am asking her to surprise me, i remind her i am not kidding, and it isn’t until the end of my birthday that i am mildly disappointed that i was not surprised.) anyone else feel this way? well, sounds like another case of the old balancing act. the center is calling me. that last sentence is awesome, and i am leaving it alone.

no certainties and plenty of surprises – i guess we can’t over plan our way out of the positive times or waste our lives waiting for the tough times. i figure we saved three hours not sitting on the parade route, getting to the ‘galaxy of lights’ early, and not waiting or planning our time with the neighbors. three hours well spent on our packers.

i have coulrophobia. glad i was in the car and they were in the trailer.

nothing to do with the post. everything to do with now.

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