When We’re Forced To Change Our Plans…

A sharp turn in a road going uphill into the mountain

All the usual stuff happening but then add illness, an accident, solo-parenting, bad weather and some tradesmen in the mix and it all goes truly pear-shaped. This last few weeks at my house have been full to the brim with the unexpected.

To be honest, it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise because no week ever ends up how I planned it, but this last week to 10 days was a little crazier than usual. Each day there was another thing happening out of my control.

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I love the saying ‘Spontaneity is best from a prepared base’, I plan, yes, but have to remember to hold it all very loosely. 

I can roll with unexpected things a whole lot easier when I slim down my task list to baseline essentials. If I try and keep with my plan and insist that I will do it all anyway, I’m being impractical and unrealistic, and probably going to fall.

When things happen beyond your control, accidents, illness or life events occur, good planning has to be realistic and practical.   My way of having realistic planning is being ok with good enough 80% of the time, all the time. 

Good enough to me is healthy eating 5-6 nights of the week and burgers, pizza or eggs on toast or leftovers the rest.I’m good with kids having fewer screens all week long, but happy to let them spend a full afternoon watching Netflix episodes.  I’m happy if the kitchen is left tidy 5-6 nights a week but on a Friday or Saturday, we don’t get it cleaned up till after breakfast on Sunday. I don’t grill myself for being late anymore when I try not to be, I apologise and get on with things.

So when life does get crazy, when someone is sick, you move house or something unsettling is happening, especially when things are not going well I am SO fine with letting plans go completely and I make no judgement about it. 
If even for an extended period of time I have had to let things happen, I’m good with it because I know the majority of the time I am working hard to hit the mark in the areas where it counts.

I’m not going to set myself an impossible standard when my life is not fully functional. I don’t like having to cancel what I did have planned, my personal projects, they often have to be shelved until further notice.

It can be so disappointing if it’s what we really want to be doing, but if it’s not essential to you and your families well-being, it can absolutely wait.  When things are messy I make a plan for each day based on the essential things, like sleep, shower, meals, and other very relevant activities to what is going on, but the rest of my time is free-flow time to be spent as needed. If I need to wait 3 hours at the hospital or nurse a sick person through the night there is plenty of time and energy for it, phone calls, communication, space to take a breath if I need to. 

When life is unpredictable, I scale back to basics so I have time and energy to deal with the random activity that’s happening around me. I can go about life at a nicer pace and most importantly, it stops me from panicking that I won’t get things done and helps me stay calmer for everyone else around me.