Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Challenge 1: Planned Spontaneity

On Friday I took my kids on spur-of-the-moment outing to Wilson Farms, a deluxe farm stand that I love. I've been there two or three times since the stroke, but this was the first time I went there with the kids and without another adult to help. I hoped that it could be a short trip with something to please everyone: a talking bird in the greenhouse (kids and me); luscious displays of fruits and vegetables (me);  barn with a few animals (kids); free samples of prepared foods (everyone).

Shopping--especially with kids--can be challenging, with or without a brain injury. Things didn't start out well. On the way there, my daughter was cranky enough that I had to pull over to wait for her to stop whining. Then, when we went into the greenhouse, we learned that the talking bird it had died. And then, my daughter balked at the idea of going into the barn without me (the stairs aren't very accessible). Thankfully, my son went in by himself and was entertained by the animals for a while.

When we went into the main store,  the crowds were in a pre-Easter frenzy. I had to respond to my kids' constant requests for purchases: kids' gardening gloves (no); garden clippers (no); pink tulips (no); daisies (yes); 3 lbs of strawberries (no, just 1 lb); a pint of blackberries (no); cheese (yes). My daughter was also in a frenzy about finding free samples. We came back about $25 poorer, with provisions we probably could have lived without.

In the end, it wasn't a disaster, but wasn't a great triumph, either.  But it did get me closer to my real goal: having spontaneous adventures, especially with my kids. These days I tend to plan every outing meticulously, because it's such a fine line between something that might bring joy to my family and me--or bring me to the point of utter exhaustion and frustration. But at some point, I would love to be able to get out without much preparation--and go.

The flowers I bought weren't very happy that I was
so spontaneous that I forget to put water in the vase first


  1. How wonderful that you got to do that. You're right - I find that spontaneous outings make me feel empowered. I'm getting better at being impulsive and stopping somewhere as I drive by; it's something I rarely did before the stroke, but now I think, "why not? I deserve to enjoy myself."

  2. Nobody gets 100s in life. We get 100s on tests for spelling and simple addition when we are in 2nd grade. This creates unrealistic expectations. Your outing sounds pretty typical to me. I hope you enjoyed some of it.

  3. It sounds to me like you did really well, Grace...there was plenty in there that sounds difficult to manage to me even for people who don't have a brain injury! Like Rebecca said, I hope that you enjoyed some of it...be proud of yourself! :)

  4. Sounds like a great outing with only a few minor snags. Congrats! Any ideas for a future outing?