I ran (literally) an errand about an hour ago. Little Nate’s nose is a bit stuffy so I volunteered to grab some saline from the store and took the chance to stretch my legs and work off some extra calories (thanks for all the yummy meals Stoddart friends!).
While running through the neighborhood, I began to realized how out of control my life really is. How did I get myself into this situation? Life was extremely simple before kids. Not including some compromises for the sake of my marriage, I did what I wanted to do. What did I do? The only thing that really comes to mind is I got a good amount of sleep. Oh how good that sleep was…but I digress. What really got me on the subject of my lack of control was thinking about Nathanael’s birth.
I had it all planned out really. Jen had been consistently past her due date with the delivery of both Sam (7 days) and Levi (4 days). Seeing a pattern, I schedule several important meetings right up to the due date. “No problem!” I would say when someone would ask, “I’ve got it all under control.” Hah! The lack of control was apparent @ 5:45 am on Tuesday December 11. For those of you keeping track @ home that’s 2-4 days before our due date depending on if you were using our HMO or our midwife’s prognoses. The first thought that came to mind when Jen shook me out of my blissful sleep (ahhh sleep) was, “This can’t be happening…I had a schedule!” I didn’t make any of my meetings that day. It didn’t really matter though. That’s the funny thing about when you’re “expecting.” You prepare so you can be ready when it’s “time.” What’s really cool is that others allow for your absence so you can experience the wonder of the moment.
As I was running tonight I had this feeling that this is really how life is. When it comes to the important things, we don’t really control much. Don’t worry, I’m not becoming a fatalist. I’m recognizing my limitations. The power we have is in how we set ourselves up to deal with the crazy mess that life is. I realize that I can’t control relationships, traffic, the weather, or my sons’ sleep cycles (or their birth days for that matter). What I can do is make room to find joy in the unpredictability of these things.
Over the holidays I’m attempting an experiment. I want to stop living in the frustration that comes from feeling like I’ve got to control everything. I want to stop packing things in so I have to schedule life by the minute. I want to stop procrastinating. I want to allow for the flexibility that life in the real world requires. I really don’t know how I’ll do, but I think I’ll find some joyful moments in the midst.