(this Blog is written by Ruth)
What’s your plan? Gotta have a plan, yearly, monthly, weekly and even hourly! This is how my life used to go. Life was hectic, work, church; volunteering and even play was scheduled right down to the smallest of details. Colour categorised outlook was my friend and yes I may have once or twice scheduled when to clean the toilet and OK it was at 10pm on a Friday because seriously that’s the only time I had! I would begin each year with a list of Goals and tick them off my list once achieved. Lists, lists and more lists! I’ve even been known to reach for a pen and tick off each item on an Order of Service at friends weddings… Life was done in time-frames and the smaller the time-frame got the more stressed I would be, non completion was not in my vocab and my personality seemed to thrive on pressure. Col would wake up regularly to a white glow as I emailed from my phone in the dead of night. So you get it, I was a fully fledged CONTROL FREAK, everything was done my way, to my standard and God help you if you got in my way.
I’m laughing as I write, as this now seems like a complete stranger. A few things happened in the last couple of years that have refined me as a person.
1) We opted for a Sea Change. Maybe it’s a cliché giving up City Life in search of simplicity, but believe me when I say it’s not as simple as it sounds. I found it challenging, change is good transition is hard. Daily I had to make a choice to slow down, enjoy the small things, take the scenic route. There are two roads to our house from the freeway, one along the river where I get to soak in magical views of the mountains that surround, and one through an industrial area that’s slightly quicker. If it’s my choice I always take the scenic route, life’s too short not to.
2) I had a child with Special Needs. Suddenly life’s priorities changed. There were life and death moments last year and quickly I learnt what mattered! Having the perfect house, clean windows and a scheduled lifestyle didn’t rate. I swapped it for life, family, love and the unplanned, no matter how messy that looks! As imperfect as last year was it sure turned out pretty perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing.
3) I turned 40, the BIG Four Zero! I did this kicking and screaming and in my head very ungracefully. How did I get here, who is this family, is this really my life? On the inside I was still 15, but this girl in the mirror is not (Napoleon Perde can only help so much), and this life is not what 15 year old Ruth planned… Thank Goodness ‘cos let’s face it 15 year old Ruth was a twit! This life is far better than 15 year old Ruth could ever plan and 40+ Ruth she’s OK, she’s relaxed, willing to go with the flow and bask in each moment for what it offers.
In all these situations a choice had to be made, now on the weekends Col will ask ‘What’s the plan for today’, my response is always ‘No plan, what should we do?’ I now revel in the unplanned and thanks to Eden know how much the unplanned has to offer.