Little by little, I am learning to embrace this process instead of fearing it.
You’d think I’d be used to it by now. I have a very long history of things in my life that I thought were stable coming unravelled. Multiple divorces, destroyed friendships, changing diagnoses and therapists, have all had their turn in shaking up my life. I work really hard to plan things, put supports in place, be as prepared as possible.
But life just can’t be controlled that way. You can’t actually prepare for everything.
And while I know that, somewhere in the recesses of my brain, it has never stopped me from trying. Or from putting so much work into a plan that I’m too exhausted to implement. Or being so involved in planning that I don’t get to enjoy the party. It’s a hard lesson I have to keep learning, and one day I’ll get it. One day I’ll plan a little less. But in the meantime, I am learning to take the chaos in stride.
Sometimes you get the storm before the calm, instead of the other way around.
I have been cycling through this frequently over the last 2 years. Granted, moving in with my mother in a new country after 6+ years of a marriage I thought would last forever was a big shake up - one I was an active participant in. But I tried to combat that with extra planning. Extra supports for me, extra therapy for kids, lots of extra work to distract me.
But then things started to fall into place, and I had time to add more to my already-too-full plate, and then something major would change. Like my 6 yr old’s therapy team imploding shortly after Christmas. Or my teenager virtually dropping off the planet in the spring because participating in life became too overwhelming. Little pockets of our track would fall out and I’d be scrambling to put it back before we fell out too.
Life doesn’t stop when your plans fall through. It just keeps chugging along like a train.
It is a huge struggle, an uphill battle, to learn how to roll with the changes. And I know I have to learn it if I’m ever going to be able to teach my kids to do the same. Heaven knows they need it, since adaptability is not their strength. Clearly it’s not mine either. But that is something I’m learning to embrace too.
I recognize that it’s also important to not expect the pieces to go back together the same way. If you crack an egg, you can’t just put it back in the shell, no matter what you try. It’s got to become something else, like an omelette. Maybe that’s the real reason the king’s horses and men couldn’t put Humpty together - they were trying to make him the same instead of realizing he could be an omelette. A very big omelette that would have fed them all.