Many years of work in the recovery community taught me a lot. The past two weeks have served to remind me of the gajillion and six times I’ve said (and heard) this: “Plan plans, not results.”
My husband and I had a fairly elaborate holiday schedule lined up: a few short trips together to be with part of our family, “divide and conquer” to connect with the rest. We had planned a stretched-out Christmas celebration that would allow one or both of us to be face-to-face with about three fourths of our large extended family. Parents. Adult kids. Sibs. Grandbabies.
When we woke up on the day I was to shuttle him to the airport we were handed an unexpected twist: hacking coughs and high fevers all around. So it was off to Urgent Care rather than “Departures,” the druggist rather than dinner. We stuffed our TSA-friendly packages into an Express Mail box and dragged to the post office counter with about an hour to spare. And with that, Christmas was cancelled. (Or at least what was left of it was postponed for awhile.)
As a result of the plans we had made there were no ingredients for a special dinner. Since we were the “designated road warriors” there was no Christmas tree. Apparently each of us intended to finish up our gifts for the other on the two days we were to be apart.
Somewhere along the line we pronounced it officially the weirdest Christmas ever.
A couch. A love seat. Pillows, blanket and dogs. Juice, tissues and cough drops. Soup from the freezer and cinnamon toast for dessert. Short, sweet “I love you’s” by text and a few by phone. A long distance video Yankee Swap gift exchange. Laughing at ourselves and each other. Sleeping a lot. Finding the line between “disappointed about plans” and “making the best of the moment.” OD’ing on movies. And, to top it off, while watching A Christmas Story, realizing neither of us felt well enough even to fetch Chinese takeout.
And wondering about whether or not we managed to teach our kids that sometimes not getting what you want can be a wonderful thing.