There are times when you drop what you are doing and do something. Today was one of those days. Big Man, a long time friend who was in state because of a death in the family, let me know he was returning home much earlier than expected. Thankfully, timing worked out in our favor. We were able to drive down to meet with him and his wife for a much longer and more satisfying visit than our meeting a few weeks ago.
Today was one of those days that puts things in perspective and allows a person to look at their priorities. I wasn’t sure how out of whack mine were getting. For me, there has been this overwhelming sense that a large portion of life is out of my control and when that happens I tend to overcompensate the other way, to create some sense of control. So far as I can tell that overcompensation has not occurred.
I am thankful for that. Everything we have been doing has been thought out. Sometimes over thought out. While there have been some hurt feelings, nothing has been malicious or because I/we have acted without thought in an attempt to gain some semblance of control. In the past, I would have lashed out at anyone and anything around me in an attempt to feel in control. Maybe age. Maybe experience. Probably a bit of both. We have weathered uncertainty before, maybe not on the scale of this home issue, but in the past when faced with uncertainty we acted. Often just to feel like we were doing something. Not so much now.
So while today initially seemed to be built solely on reacting to various stimuli from people, today was well thought out. In the case of Big Man, he has been my best friend for a long time and he means a lot to me. Thus, it was important to move heaven and earth to make every effort I could to see him. However, it was also important to me that I keep a previous plan with Paul without disrupting those plans.
With some thought, a little luck (Barb’s day off), I/we were able to do both. A pleasant lunch with Paul with the entire family who have been dying to see him and then onto the road. Several hours, one small flurry-the disappointing McDonalds things* (children needed to use the bathroom)-and a whole lot of construction later we had pleasant dinner and said our “see you laters” (with plans to visit them when they get back to Utah).
In the past, we would have done all of this and a whole bunch of other stuff, usually spending money we didn’t have in an effort to feel in control and soothe our battered sense of being. Taking a breath, analyzing the situation, and looking down the road is something new for us during times like this. Visiting with friends new and old helped put priorities and perspective on our situation. Not bad for a day.
* If you have to choose between McDonalds and Burger King for ice-milk deserts, go with Burger King. Why? Cheaper and larger. For the $8 I spent at McDonalds I would have been able to feed four more people and have some pocket change left over at Burger King. Note, I am not espousing their food, just their ice-milk treats…sorry ice-cream (ha).