Friday, March 18, 2011

Changing Plans

I like consistency. This is a carry-over from my childhood, where I felt disappointed when plans were made and didn't happen. I want to make plans and carry them out, to have my kids know that they can safely anticipate the event and not wonder if it will actually happen. But sometimes things occur that are beyond what we can plan for. Sickness happens. Plans change. I'm slowly getting better at reacting and not feeling stressed when I have to be flexible.

Ava's birthday party was set for this afternoon, and has been planned for months. We've talked about it and looked forward to it, but she got the flu on Saturday and has been on the couch with a fever, cough, sore throat and low appetite for the last week. I sent her back to school yesterday for St. Patrick's Day, because her class had a variety of events planned and she was fever free for more than 24 hours.

The school called after lunch and said she wasn't feeling well and I needed to come get her. My heart sank for my girl, because I knew that she was eagerly anticipating her birthday party, but I know that it's no fun to have a birthday party when you aren't feeling up to it. She had a nap yesterday afternoon, and then perked up before we went to the city for a few errands and to pick up Nana from the airport.

She complained of a stomachache while we were out, and ended up puking when we got home. The uncertain nature of deciding what to do about the party has been hard for me, but not as hard as its been in the past. As I get a little stronger and more sure of myself, I feel less afraid of what comes at me. We have to roll with the punches and not fight them. Part of my frustration in my twenties and early thirties was this sense of fighting what I couldn't control. Now I know that's a useless exercise. Sometimes things happen for a reason, and sometimes for no discernible reason, but we still have to choose how we will act depending on what curve balls are tossed our way.

I'm not flexible by nature, but I can learn to adapt and not feel stressed. I can recognize that I'm not responsible for all aspects of an event, or the happiness of those involved. I can help my kids walk through their disappointment and give my kids skills to manage it, skills that will last them throughout their lifetime. We all develop coping mechanisms either against or toward certain things, but it's freeing to recognize that we can work on it, one area at a time, until we have healthier ways of managing our lives.

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