I live in this weird place between being a planner and being someone who absolutely wings it. This holds true in my writing as much as it does in my life. But within my life, those few times that I do actually get to the point where I plan ahead, it really freaking sucks when those plans just can’t seem to work out.
I have a feeling that this is what I tend to play it by ear more than I do any real planning. While I hate the absolute inanity of trying to make decisions on what to do with a free day with the family as they all argue over what would be the best thing to do, even though they all agree that any of the ideas would be fun, it is just so much worse to have an idea and then have to try to reconfigure it because of something going wrong.
For instance, we had recently planned to go to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, an annual event where you get to hang out in an outdoor shopping mall gussied up to look like medieval England. Okay, sure, I’m not being fair. There are plenty of other things to do. It’s got a few human-operated rides. You can ride on an elephant, watch jousting, there’s a maze in the woods, fairies, a small petting zoo, street performers, and a whole host of things that try to make this into a true eventful day worthy of driving to Shakopee, Minnesota and making the long trek across the ever-increasing strip mine.
But let’s be honest, most of the time is spent looking through the shops at the leatherwork and seeing if there’s anything cool enough worth buying that won’t break the bank.
Anyways, we were planning on doing this. The kids were super excited. And this was also the only day we had available to do this before they close down for the season, which meant it was highly important we do it, especially since they were closed down last year for the usual reasons.
The kids were so excited that they got dressed up in their weaponry and cloaks before they even put on pants.
We got out of the house a little later than planned, which was, in part, due to me just not being in too much of a hurry, and in part due to my kids being too excited about their weapons to put on pants, and we ended up in a little bit of traffic heading in to the event.
More than a little. In fact, we found ourselves in a pretty severe back up of cars on the highway a mere five miles from our destination. So severe that our two hour car trip was suddenly taking twice as long, and every time we inched a little bit closer, Google told us it was actually going to take even longer.
When we were a mere half mile away and Google said it was still going to take thirty minutes to get to the parking area, not to mention parking and walking across the mine and getting tickets and finally getting into the park before needing to immediately find food (which was already really necessary based on the decreasing mood of the interior of my car), we finally gave up, recognizing that our season passes for the nearby amusement park would serve to make this trip not an entire loss.
And I think we managed to have some fun, but it still felt as though everyone in the car, who had prepared to have an amazing day watching all the fancy-dressed people pretend being a fairy in public isn’t weird, was still wishing there was some way they could have made things work out.
Of course, a lot of that was lost when my middle child screamed his face off as he rode a ride that was a little more intense than he had remembered and had to remind himself that he was having fun.
Having to change plans sucks, and I’ve been finding myself in that same place with regards to several things in my life as of late, and I’ve been struggling to find the amusement park alternative which might allow for me to find a little bit of joy in the changing atmosphere of my plans not working as planned.
Maybe soon I’ll get on that thrill ride and manage to get my mind rebooted so hard that I forget my plans to play in the mud with the medieval mud wench and just recognize how much fun I’m already having.