I CANNOT believe it’s here—we’re going! My almost 70-Mom (aka The New 40) and almost 50 –me (aka The Typical Almost 50) are doing this once-in-a-lifetime dream. And we’re inviting you to share it vicariously as we post about what we see, learn, and overcome (as in, FEAR OF FORGETTING WHERE MOM PARKED THE CAR).
Let me share this unexpected metamorphosis, to hopefully inspire you and YOUR mother/sister/aunt/daughter to take that memory maker trip too.
The Idea. It was a dark and stormy night…Actually, it was an out-of-the-blue phone call LAST year. My mother said, “I want to take you back to the ‘Old Country.’” Which, of course, meant Scotland (“Ach aye”). But at the time, I shared that my baby wasn’t old enough to tote yet too young to walk. “Let’s try next year,” I said. Fast forward to this year, and my out-of-the-blue phone call to her. I said, “I don’t think we can make it work this year either” and proceeded with a list of very good reasons, including but not limited to how much planning work it would be, especially in a short amount of time. Big pause. And then, in her Scottish way, she said, “What work? We call a travel agent, they do it up, we go.” And I felt it. That Yes feeling that doesn’t make any sense but feels right. The Takeaway? When the feeling hits, GO WITH IT. Don’t self-edit, self-doubt, or self-analyze it away. Acknowledge the rightness of what you know in your soul to be good, and then leap. Well, with your mother maybe an intentional large step.
The Work. When your mother says, “What work?” remember back to yardwork days when she said there wouldn’t be many weeds, either. Due to timing for her, it fell to me to coordinate with the travel agent. First, may I mention that I LOATHE travel planning? And here I was signed on to create our custom 14-day trip. And guess what? It worked! A wonderful travel agent, Kelly Hamilton, gave me helpful parameters, and worked with my inventive custom schedule, and badaboom, badabing, it was finally a done deal. I can’t express what a personal victory this was for me. The Takeaway? Don’t be afraid of the Work. Or the Difficult To-do. Or the Loathed Thing. Because with the right situation or the perfect dangling carrot, you’ll just plain do it.
The Preparation. Of course, during this same time, I needed to not only manage six kids at home including extra fab events, but also finish taxes, judge a contest with copious entries, start a new church service position, and write and finish a co-authored book (most of the latter during my toddler’s naptime or playdates, help!) And then there was the before-the-trip organizing of kids and home. At first I thought, I will go crazy. But then came the peace. And, the helpful ideas. In the form of a Supervisor Chart (Laundry, Tidy-up, Dinner, etc.) and Meals in a Box (dry items in the tub with find-in-the-fridge ingredient list and simple cooking instructions). Will Dad or the kids actually use these? Who knows. But have I done my job as a Stellar Mother? Absolutely. I go in peace.
The Hiccup. So a few days before we leave I get a call from my mother—her house has flooded. Seriously flooded (even though the water heater burst and damaged for only three hours). She becomes displaced into a hotel while a restoration company rips out walls and cabinets. We see this as a blessing BECAUSE had she already been gone the damage would have been unimagineable. And, she now HAS to be out of her home for at least the next two weeks. The Takeaway? Timing and trials are in the eye of the beholder.
The Reality. And now it’s here. I’m between giddy and paralyzed. By the time you read this we will have arrived in Bonnie Scotland and I’ll be looking for kilts in my clan tartan (okay, maybe…) Hopefully, the flight will have gone well (OVER ALL THAT OCEAN…not thinking about it) and my kids are saying, Mom who? And they’ve made beautiful meals and done their daily tidy. BUT IF NOT, that’s okay. Because I’m saying my trip mantra, repeatedly, anytime I feel the rising worry…”Leave it in the Lord’s Hands.” The Takeaway? Almost two months ago my mother said, Why not? And I said a prayer, and then, Let’s try. We moved forward knowing that if it wasn’t right, things wouldn’t work together for our good. But they did, and in nothing short of miraculous ways. And now, it’s our reality.
What’s a dream that you’ve been simply simmering, one that seems far-off, or slightly impossible, or even fairly doable? Just for today, can you open your soul to the possibility? To a maybe? To a how to make this happen” instead of, “That’s not in the cards for me.” Consider it, pray about it, and feel the timing and way of it for you and your family. Open the door and let Him work the miracles.
Until the next post!