Today I had the opportunity to be reminded of a couple aspects I overlooked the other night when I wrote the post about writing your own story. That would be the fact that none of us inhabit this world alone and having to interact with others means that you aren’t the only author of that story. You get to choose how you react to things, but you don’t always have a say in the series of events placed before you.
I had rather grand plans for today. Most of them did not quite pan out the way I saw them going in my mind. I got a call last night informing me that there was going to be a two hour delay for Kayla’s school in the morning. No problem there, it meant I didn’t have to get up QUITE as early…. Or so I thought. The school sent out another call, at 6am, to say school would be cancelled. Well, there went most of my plans for the day.
On a positive note, since Kayla will be with her mom for the next few days, it gave me one more full day to spend with her. On the other hand, I only managed to get a couple of the items on my to do list done. But overall, I have to say it was a big ol’ positive because we had a great day together making priceless memories that will last a lifetime. I’m sure by next week I’ll have forgotten which day I got the tasks from my list accomplished anyway.
I had to run out east about an hour away to pick something up this morning, so she came with and we chatted and sang along to songs on the way out. On the way back, she said she wanted to play outside and go sledding so we made a few stops along the way to try and locate a sled for her and a new pair of snow pants. Every store we stopped at was completely sold out of sleds and snow pants though (well, one store had a single pair of snow pants, but I suspect it’ll be 6 or 7 years before they’ll fit her).
Lack of a store bought sled wasn’t going to stop us from going to the hill though, so when we got home, we looked around the house for a few items we might use to make something suitable. We found an amazon prime box with an empty bubble padded envelope inside it and that became the basis for the sled. I cut the envelope along two of the seams so that it would cover the bottom of the box to keep it from getting waterlogged as well as make it a bit slicker on the snow. We secured the envelope to the box with that most useful of tools, Duct Tape.
I can’t say that the end result was any marvel of modern engineering, I think the bubble pack envelope actually provided a bit more friction than it diminished, but it did prevent the less than perfectly stable cardboard box from zipping down the hill out of control. Overall, I think it worked out quite nicely. I’m actually rather glad that every where we checked was sold out of sleds because buying one would have deprived us of the opportunity to build one together.
With the temperature as low as it was, the actual sledding didn’t last very long, even with a break after the first couple runs down the hill to warm back up in the truck. So the time we spent building the sled drew out the overall experience into something that took up a bit more of our afternoon. Afterwards we headed back home and warmed up with a bit of TV and a giant bowl of popcorn that we popped together on the stove (I got rid of the microwave quite a while ago because it wasn’t really necessary and made me a bit lazy sometimes).
I figured that I’d get her off to sleep after practicing her reading and rubbing her back til she drifted off and then get started straight away on my post for tonight, so I could get to bed early. That plan too was not meant to be. Jessica, my step daughter (I suppose legally speaking she isn’t my step daughter anymore, but she was and will always be the first one I thought of as my daughter) called just as I was getting her little sister into bed, so I called her back after Kayla was out for the night. She’s had a rough past few days, and we ended up chatting for a couple hours.
She’s the one with Kayla and I in one of the photo’s in the article about my blackout sleeve and since she’s off with the Navy these days, I don’t get to talk to her too often, so I like to enjoy it as much as possible when I get the opportunity. I talk about Kayla here a lot because she’s a part of my life every single day, but I’m just as proud of Jessica. She’s really a truly amazing young woman and I’m honored that I’ve gotten to be a part of her life and help raise her into the strong woman she is!
But to get back to my original train of thought, no, today did not go quite the way I pictured it would in my mind last night. But all in all, I couldn’t be happier with how it’s turned out. There’s also the added bonus that it gives me the chance to talk about how it’s not only important to write your story for yourself, but also to remain flexible and adapt that story as needed.
Just because it didn’t go the way I had in mind doesn’t mean I just gave up and let the rest of the day happen as it would. I chose to exercise control over the things that I could, and to adapt and make the very best of the things I couldn’t. I could have chosen to let the change in circumstances get me all bent out of shape and make my day a miserable thing to just be endured, but I rather prefer the way I navigated the unexpected today.
We can always hope for the best while planning for the worst and, more often than not, we’ll find ourselves somewhere between the two. The important thing is not only that we make the choice to consciously live our lives with intention, but that we stay flexible enough to adapt to whatever curveballs get thrown our way. This life is one in which we are co-creating our experience together and just as other people’s choices affect us, ours affect others as well.
When we can stay in sync with balancing swimming and going along with the current, magical things can happen, and we end up where we want to be much faster than when we either just float along or fight the current. And with that final thought in closing, I’m going to go ahead and float on off to sleep for the evening. Thanks for reading!