Taking control of out of control

I’m on another flight, heading to another city in another country. If I were into my musical-theatre, I’d bang on about another suitcase, another town (but dear 7 readers I am most resolutely not. There is little more likely to send me into a 7 page tirade than musical-theatre. Musical-theatricality,we do, yes. Musicals, no, no, no) . But I’m not, so I won’t. And I don’t check luggage anyway –business travel 101.

There was no reading with Monkey face this morning, before I left. There was an accelerated version of the morning routine, during which time items of various ownership need to be located in order for the day to progress successfully or even at all. It is no real secret that much of this morning drama could be bypassed if in fact any of us were tidy or in fact if half of the items to be located actually had homes OR a ginormous chuckathon were scheduled. I pledge every day that said chuckathon is going to take place THAT VERY WEEKEND (and sometimes actually threaten to start out on it wholesale there and then) but alas, there is never a window outside of working, chores, looking after a child and looking for stuff in order to start on said chuckathon.If there were, that is precisely time I’d be spending sleeping.

That there are three adults staying in my home over the course of these two weeks whilst I am on operation Train Europe on CRM is supposed to make life somewhat easier. In some ways it does, let’s  not be  churlish, but not in any way useful  during the pressure cooker that is a period of timeduring which one needs to get any number of adults and small child out of the house against a deadline. All that then happens is I find myself at the end of a slightly longer human chain, passing essentials down the line or – even more infuriatingly – being asked by not one but two persons where above essential items are whilst I am trying to execute the third luxury item task I’ve been supposedly freed up for. Like washing my hair or going to the loo. So this morning was tricky and tiresome and we all rushed off in various states of  grizzliness. And no book had been read. However, MF she was in an exceptially gracious and happy mood this morning, full of love I suppose after her weekend of fun and attention. In fact, she arrived at her childminder today for day 4 of her birthday blowout. (Whilst my recent birthday milestone was one that is traditionally spent getting noisily hammered in Vegas, it was actually observed with far less fanfare than my daughter’s second. Which, let’s face it, she won’t even remember.) She toddled off into her childminder haven, being high-fived by her little friend without so much as a backward glance. I did gulp, I have to be honest. I’d planned to read for myself tonight, to stave  off the stark lack of kiddie periphery in my Milanese hotel room, but as my flight was 2 hours late departing City Airport and it remains to be seen whether we can actually land at Linate, I’m not confident that I will be arriving at my hotel in time to sleep much less to read. The fear on board is that we’ll be landing at neighbouring Malpensa far later than our 930pm local time. I’ve 35 euros in my purse, been too busy to tell my bank I am travelling to Milan so will likely be unable to get cash out tomorrow (which is desperately helpful and not at all infuriating of a global local bank), couldn’t find the newfangled HSBC pin device also handily convenient for accessing my own sodding account (and something  else essential to lose/ leave in the wrong place when I most need it), and the succulent cherry on top is that today my outgoing calls are barred having been too busy to pay the phone bill. Not for the first time, I’m regretting boarding this flight. If all of this makes me sound like a complete idiot who has no business being in charge of anything other than paper plates, then you are likely my husband. I’m surrounded by the sound of crashing crockery hitting the floor, but I am still here. I am still reading to my daughter (just not today).

All of the rest of it will get figured out and every day there is stuff I have to either prioritise or just let it work out, one way or another. But to let the blog and the reading drop would mean taking that decision every day into the whole future we are preparing for.

Three  hours later

And.I  was on time for the  plane. The plane took off in deep  fog.It stayed in the air. It landed  at Linate not at the airport 160 euros away. I  was able to get (and pay for) a cab despite it costing twice what I  was told it would cost, sending me into a panic that I wouldn’t be able to get where I needed to in the morning. But the hotel has a free shuttle bus to my place of  work. The  wifi  is  reasonable and it all worked out.  I sat on board and laughed at myself  and thought – this is what travel used to be like. People didn’t travel with a mobile phone safety net and  24 hour banking. I’m learning to trust myself that this will be ok. What people have told me will be ok.

Sitting on a plane  pondering all  of  this,  enveloped in fog so dense it  was impossible to know whether one  was  on the ground or flying, it seemed to me so obvious The only way to take control of out of control is to accept it as an illusion.

It’s hard to keep all of this  stuff going. It’s okay to get it wrong a bit (ok, a lot.) But most of the time, the stuff I spend my time clenched about doesn’t happen. Things  can drop. Just not Monkey-face. Or husband.

Good night. See you tomorrow.What on earth could possibly go wrong..?


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