Monday, March 12, 2012

The Kite Festival Trip That Almost Wasn't

Perhaps my favorite kite of the day.  It's made of a simple piece of paper.

Kites rise highest against an opposing wind. We had a beautiful time at the Redondo Beach Kite Festival today.  It couldn't have been better if I had planned it myself.  But as beautiful as this day was, it's hard to believe how close I came to calling the whole thing off.  Yes, this was the trip that almost wasn't.

I have a habit of over planning trips.  I realize there is no such thing as the perfect trip, especially when you've got three small children in tow, but I tend to over-analyze everything.  I weigh every aspect of the  trip as though the slightest mis-calculation will set the whole thing askew.  I'm sure you can see how this thinking is problematic.  I have canceled events before because of my inability to just let things go (a bit self-fulfilling, I know).

This habit usually cast a dark cloud over every thought.  If I cannot account for every aspect of our day, I convince myself that everything will fall apart.  In this case, I told myself that we waited too late, I had too little sleep, and the weather was too cold.  By the time we were ready to pack-up the car the night before,  I literally felt like I was being knocked backwards off my heels.  

We didn't have kites for the kids.  I rationalized that I couldn't take kids to a kite festival, without kites.  From here, my thoughts spiraled quickly out of control and I got this sinking feeling that things wouldn't turn out right.  In fact, the entire time I packed the car, I fought a creeping suspicion that everything would just come crashing down all around me. A little dramatic?  Perhaps.  I told you I was flawed.  

Sadia nudges her kite up a little higher.

I take some pride in the fact that I can recognize the vicious thought cycle now.  In the past, I couldn't always catch myself in these moments, and I'd lose sight of the big picture.  

This morning I ground my feet in the sand, took a deep breath, and found peace in the simplicity of just being in the moment with my family.  This was a huge step for me.

Teddy coaches Simone on kite navigation.

Not long after this incredible moment of self-awarness, peace got bullied by Daylight Savings.  It caught me off guard.  Again.  Despite the fact that I left myself constant reminders throughout the day, and then there were the countless Facebook posts.  I synced all of my electronic calendars and I still forgot.   By the time I remembered, it was already an hour past bedtime.  A one hour loss to Daylight Savings, plus getting to bed late knocked me off balance.  But I couldn't let a fatigue rob me of precious headway.

Simone takes her kite to the limit.

When I woke up this morning, the sky was overcast.  The temperature was a brisk 69 degrees.  That feeling sank within me again.  Then the early morning threatened rain.  Luckily, the weather ended up holding beautifully, and by 1 o'clock, we headed to the Festival.  

Gifted with a kite.
And I am so glad I did.  Moments after we laid out our blankets and got settled in, a family approached Teddy and offered us their kites.  They had packed up to leave for the day, and wanted to find a good home for a Star Wars boxed and a traditional diamond newt with a three foot tail.  

The girls work at keeping their kites in the air.
The girls were ecstatic.  I was shocked by their good will, and even more surprised at  how simply this wrinkle seemed to iron itself out... and without my having controlled it.  

I felt as if God had rewarded me for stepping out of my comfort zone.  This generous family happily handed their kites over to us-- something that I could have never anticipated-- and just like that a weight lifted off of my shoulders.  

This weekend almost didn't happen.  A little resistance was all it would have taken to derail everything.  It seems silly now to think that I would have lost out on such a wonderful experience, if I hadn't let go.  I had to come to an end of myself.  I set my gaze to the wind and I flew.


Jewels said...

Thanks for posting this...I find myself doing the same thing but have never put words to it. I always appreciate your transparency and I agree a big part of dealing with this stuff is just being aware of it.

diane davis said...

ohhhhh myyyyy. i resonate with this soooo much. the self sabatoging. the loss of control. the fear. oh, the fear! huge success that you were able to push through and have this story for when those nagging thoughts come up again.

ps. I LOVE that you are blogging again.


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