April Fools'

I hate April Fools' Day. Yep. Hate it now, and have always hated it. I don't like surprises. I like to know what's coming around the corner. I like to plan ahead and prepare myself. So the whole "April Fools' Day" in honor of practical jokes is just about the antithesis of my comfort level.

But here's the real joke. Life is full of surprises. You can plan all you want and there is nothing to say that things are going to work out the way you hoped they would. So what's an obsessive planner to do? Well, when I went to a water park with my kids this year, I was terrified to go down one of the slides with my kids. I worried about breaking my nose, whether I would hit my mouth at the end, and again about breaking my nose. (This is what happens when you grow up in a medical family.) And then I looked at my youngest child's face, so excited to go down this "grown-up" slide with me. Trying her best to be brave and have fun when she was terrified as well. So what did I do? I smiled and I took a breath. And I kept on breathing. In fact I concentrated on my breathing all the way down that damn slide. And you know what? It was really fun! It was fun to be there with my kids and fun to act like a kid and fun just to hang out and not worry about anything except how long the line is to go down the next slide.

So when life throws curve balls at you, first and foremost, take a breath. Realize you don't have to respond or act RIGHT. THIS. MINUTE. to anything. You can take a breath. Then another. Sit with life's surprise for a while. Decide what you want to do... and make a plan.

After all, this is the life.

- a