“When things get back to normal…”
When things are normal, everything will go as planned, everyone will be where they should be at the allotted time, and there will be no unusual happenings forcing changes of plan. We just need to get past this impossible deadline, or that thing that we weren’t expecting, then things will be different.
Hot water boilers break. Children are ill. Events are cancelled. Trains are late. New opportunities, or things that need to be done, arise suddenly. Children are ill again. (They are so generous, sharing their germs with one another constantly.) Clients or colleagues don’t keep their end of the bargain. Friends invite you out on the one day when you had other plans. Children have school holidays. Food you’d planned to cook with goes off. (Or you realise you forgot to buy it in the first place.) People have birthdays. It rains. Or snows.
These aren’t the things that get in the way of real life. They are real life.
I’m writing this while trying to ignore the film that the boy is watching on yet another sick day from school. (Without ignoring him or his requests for drinks and crackers – a fine balance!) It’s one of the many skills a home worker needs to cultivate.
I’ve decided to stop waiting for things to get back to normal. Normal is what happens every day. This is normal: the swings and roundabouts, the changing plans on the fly, the multi-tasking. We may not be able to plan for every eventuality but we can accept what comes and work with it. We can build in extra time when we estimate how long a job will take, to allow for illness and mishap. And we can keep the phone number of a good plumber to hand.