When Things Don’t Go As Planned

The beginning of 2018 did not go as planned.

If you know me then you will know I am a planner. It’s my one true talent. When I was younger and I would see my other siblings excel at music or sports and I would ask my parents what I was good at. “You are very talented at organising, planning and managing,” they would reply. I used to think that was a pathetic answer. They are hardly talents you can show off to people. But now, 17 years and three kids (including twins) later I suppose they are rather handy talents to have!

Since we hadn’t been home in five months we decided to go back for the first two weeks of January. In my head I had it all planned out. We were staying with my parents as they had enough room to house us all. I had scheduled some meet ups with friends on the first week which left the second week free for family activities: walks on the beach, swimming, leisurely strolls through town with a coffee and spending time with family.

On New Year’s Day I was utterly exhausted. It was like the whole year of surviving parenting twins hit me and by 8pm I was ordered by my family to go to bed as they couldn’t take my grumpiness any longer! I woke up the next day to a rather sore throat. I did the usual: gargling both salt water and dissoluble aspirin and taking painkillers but nothing seemed to shift it. I knew deep down it might be more serious as my throat is my weak point. It’s the one way I can tell that I am utterly run down. Fast forward five days and I’m in A&E after phoning NHS 24. It was no where near as dramatic as it sounds. I was being seen by an out of hours doctor as I couldn’t visit my own GP. She looked at my throat for all of 10 seconds and diagnosed me with tonsillitis. I was prescribed liquid penicillin and tablets for when I could swallow again. By the next day I was already feeling so much better. I’m a very positive person so a diagnosis and medicine helped to perk up my mental state.

But what about my holiday? Week one was finished and I had spent the entire week on my parents armchair, struggling to swallow my own saliva. David and my mum kept telling me that I had to view it as a positive that I was sick while at home as there was extra hands to help with the children and although I knew that to be true I felt robbed. Robbed of my plans and of a holiday.

By week two I was feeling better but David and the children were not. The horrible cold had reached them and they all began coughing and spluttering. And to top it all off the Hebridean weather did not seem to have got the memo about it being my holiday! More days stuck inside. Fortunately my parents have an amazing view of the sea which helped – a bit!

As the holiday drew to a close I realised things needed to change. It was only a week earlier I had written a letter to myself at the start of the year, telling myself to make more “me” time. I needed to put this into practice if I didn’t want to end up with tonsillitis again.

David and I had a chat and came up with a few solutions:

  1. We each get a long lie or me time in bed at the weekend.
  2. We dedicate one evening a week to spend by ourselves as we see fit: catching up on a TV show, having a bath or for David reading theology!
  3. Take opportunities with my sister moving down to go out on more regular date nights.

Our holiday didn’t go as planned and if I’m being honest I struggled with that. Being a planner means I don’t like it when things don’t go as planned. But sitting here reflecting on the two weeks of sickness it’s clear that some good did come out of it. If I didn’t get sick I wouldn’t have seen that I need to take time to rest, to put Victoria first, so that I can then be a better wife and mother to our children. Here’s hoping I actually listen to my own advice and don’t get bogged down with life again!

Some photos from our holiday.

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