Once upon a time, I had an agenda every single day. Without fail. A lovely, strict schedule of what to do when. It served me quite well and I enjoyed it. I worked within its structured time slots with peace of mind and completed need-to-dos BECAUSE doing this left me with plenty of time for all those want-to-dos! Every day of this self-imposed, agenda-run life served me quite well all the way through grad school. And it continued serving me well until the day the first child arrived-a fact to which many new moms (and dads) can bear witness. Indeed, January, 1985, was the beginning of the end of mine AND Hub’s personal agendas as well as our ‘couples’ agenda. We found ourselves thrown under the bus under new management. You would think that, coupled with this realization, would come easy readjustment. You would be wrong. We were just arrogant stupid naïve enough to think we could outwit our new little blessing. We weren’t going to succumb blindly to this new set of circumstances. It was a hard lesson for us to learn. However, 3 more daughters and years later- when they were all involved in their various activities outside the house, we threw up our hands and surrendered completely to GOING WITH THE FLOW (yes, we fought it that long).
First of all, from the moment we had the first child, it did become all about her. It was time to put ourselves on hold for about 18 years (which we realized would be stretched into Godknowshowmanyyears with the arrival of each additional blessing) and focus on our precious little one. And it really was about her…and then her sister…and then her other sister…and then one more sister. We became so involved in their agendas we almost forgot that we ever HAD agendas of our own. Nothing the darling four were ever involved in started on time. NEVER. Nothing ever ended on time either—especially BAND (thank you McGrew). AND switching days was so commonplace that sticking with an original plan could have been easily seen as the exception rather than the rule. But, things got done. Games were played. Performances were presented. Practices were held. Lessons were taught. And we all learned to GO WITH THE FLOW.
I’m not talking about the kind of go with the flow that results in a negative—becoming lackadaisical, lazy, or disrespectful. I mean the lessons learned that proved to be helpful on several fronts. For example, we learned that spending time with others and making new friendships was worth the time. We learned patience with one another and with others. We learned that our way was our way and their way was their way and that that was ok. We learned to slow down and smell those proverbial roses. We learned to dance in the rain. Together. As a family.
And, now that the nest is empty, going with the flow is still active when there is something going on with the girls. But it’s quickly losing its appeal. We no longer have to take anyone anywhere or be at very many events and Hubs and I are beginning to develop our own agendas again. Interesting thing though— whether the focus is on home improvement, places to go, or sitting around watching television-- our individual agendas now are geared more towards a couple agenda. At least up until the point where Hubs does something annoying (you know like talk during a movie and then ask, “What did he say?” Really?) at which point my personal agenda comes alive. Seriously, I don’t recall him being that annoying before the nest emptied…or was I just too busy to notice? Nevertheless, it is rather enjoyable just knowing that we CAN have personal AND couple agendas once again.
At least until grandchildren arrive.
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