You know how it is...we've all been there. There is an occasion, an event, an appointment, a scheduled task, a desired activity in your future, and in your mind you plot out a timetable, a route, a wardrobe. You decide that you will get a good night's sleep beforehand; you will get up early; go for a brisk walk to shake out the cobwebs, bring a sparkle to the eye and a sharpness to the mind; you will break your fast with a nutritious, perfectly balanced meal; you will bathe and coif your hair, and paint on an elegant face; you will reach into your closet and withdraw the perfectly appropriate outfit; you will leave with plenty of time to stop at the library to run off a few necessary photocopies before driving in a relaxed, confident manner to your destination; the occasion/event/appointment/task/activity will go off without a hitch, at which point you return home feeling very satisfied with yourself and your ability to manage your life and its incumbent responsibilities.
Only when does it ever happen the way we planned it? All the positive imaging techniques used by top athletes could not foresee what inevitably happens: Peanut Number Five, who has been more of a Pickle than a Peanut lately while he struggles with a cold, decides to cry most of the night away, causing everyone to oversleep the next morning - even through the early morning routine of the neighbour warming up his truck. Through a decided lack of oomph and energy, the walk is dismissed in preference for hiding under the covers for another hour, before emerging to read a novel over breakfast of cold pizza eaten out of the tupperware container - which is more of an accompaniment to the large cup of coffee being consumed in an attempt to jump start the brain. With a startled look at the kitchen clock, a quick shower is applied to shampoo the hair and shave the extremities, after which clothes are desperately dragged out of the closet, jewelry is dropped on the floor, and makeup is slap-dashed over the face. A quick look at an online mapping service shows that there is just enough time to reach the location provided there are no other cars on the road, so the idea of helpful, I-am-prepared-for-anything photocopies is abandoned in favour of actually showing up on time.
With hastely scribbled directions in sweaty hand, attired in an outfit not nearly emanating the confidence and ability desired, an entirely unfamiliar section of the city was braved. As the numbers of the car clock ticked closer and closer to deadline, the directions seemed more and more incomprehensible, the end point further and further away. The feeling of being in control (the small, ragged fragments that remained) fell away entirely, leaving a calm, empty feeling of abandonment. Whatever would be, would be. Nothing could be done to change it.
As it turned out, I arrived 10 minutes early - just long enough to recover from the drive without too much time to fret. The address wasn't too difficult to find, and the people I met were absolutely lovely. Even the drive home went well, though I took a different route and didn't follow a map.
Just goes to show, things work out ok, when I'm not in charge, and my own plans are usurped for Someone else's!