Best Laid Plans……..

The title is derived from Robert Burns’ Poem “To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough”

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:The best-laid schemes o’ mice an ‘men
Gang aft agley,
An’lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

Standard English Translation

But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

And this was one of those weeks. Jacob was meant to go away on holiday to Bali, Indonesia with his father last Wednesday while my Englishman and I were booked to fly to Wellington for the World of Wearable Arts Show on Tuesday. Saturday night was spent sleepless because Jacob’s mild cold had turned into a raging temperature hardly kept in check with copious amounts of Paracetamol. Two visits to the doctor and precautionary prescriptions of everything I could think of meant Jacob made his flight, although by all accounts it was a very difficult experience. And I made it to Wellington. Then I too was struck down by the same bug and I spent most of the show with my eyes closed as my body battled the invaders. Since getting back home last Thursday I have spent the majority of my time resting in bed. An urgent trip to the doctor on Sunday saw me put on mega doses of antibiotics which did their job and I am finally on the mend. But my plans for the 10 days without Jacob have all turned to naught.

I had plans to do some painting around the house, lots of study and catch up with friends. And if it hadn’t been for the Englishman, I wouldn’t have even been able to feed myself let alone do anything else. My body just shut down and I had to reserve all my strength to survive the coughing fits.

And if all of this hadn’t been enough, there were lots of other “learning opportunities” this week too. I learnt that my notion of truth being black or white differed from that of other people. It was full of grey. And it became more important to understand that particular shade of grey rather than worry about why it was neither black nor white. Human vulnerabilities come in all shapes and sizes and it was time to reveal a few of my own while accepting those of other people. We have come out the other end stronger for it, but for a while there I wasn’t sure if I could do this. Yet things had escalated to a point where major change was needed on both sides and the somehow, somewhere in the darkness we managed to see the light.

So yes, the week wasn’t quite what I had planned. But if I had to get this sick, at least I picked a week that I didn’t have to care for Jacob and I finally have more clarity about my life. No more haziness clouding the day to day……And there has been joy, joy far greater than the momentary grief and pain……


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