We had grand plans for yesterday. Big important plans revolving around the purchase of a dress or dresses, general shopping, a bite to eat; a trip into Oxford with a friend.
And then friend's son was ill, and so we did none of these things. Instead we drank coffee, ate cake pottered around Friend's home town. We failed to find That Dress (although we saw several entertainingly awful ones), we forgot to buy tights, and we spent much of the day just sitting chatting, covering both the mundane and the mainly unthinkable, and generally enjoying being together.
Slow time. No racing around - something which rarely suits Friend's son anyway. Just a potter, a saunter into town, some window shopping, and lots of sitting.
Apply a productivity test and the day was a failure. Time in motion studies would write us off, efficiency drives would have us sacked. And of course there are consequences due to our inactivity - That Dress was not bought. other things will be left undone; we will, as so often before, make do, adapt, and improvise, and just about squeak by as acceptable rather than shining out as stunning.
The studies are wrong. Yesterday was a total and utter success. Setting aside the fact that no time spent eating cake is ever wasted, we did achieve what we set out to do. We met, we spent time together, we had a pleasant day. Friend's son got to enjoy the wind on his face, Friend and I got to walk away from the phonecalls and general life clutter.
A day spent being, not doing.
It is so easy to get caught up in all the oughts and shoulds and needs and musts. I'm truly sorry it took Friend's son being ill for us to swap the busy for the gentle timelessness. But I'm not sorry at all that we didn't make it into Oxford. This was the first day since we started 2 hourly cathing that I have not had my day divided up into evenly spaced slots, with activities and non-activities being shuffled from one to the other. Our original plan would have swallowed this time up and more than filled it with busy-ness. This way I had the pleasure of sitting back and appreciating my time off. Our original plan would have involved lots of pushing Friend's son around in his wheelchair - never a difficult thing to do, but an activity which inevitably means he is faced away from us, watching the world walk past. This way, I got to sit opposite him and watch his beautiful eyes, see his emotions flit across his face, listen to his contributions to our conversations. A much better plan for the day.
Nothing special, nothing spectacular, no huge activity or months of preparation. Just a small space in the week, a gentle happy memory to look back on, a day that would otherwise have been lost.
And now it is another day, and it has been mostly swallowed up in the round of hospital appointments, the search for yet another last minute fancy dress costume, driving and parking and washing and and and and and and so it goes on. And now Friend's son is iller yet, and I suspect Friend will be having a long and busy night as well as a busy day. And Mog has come home coughing, and Little Fish has her own little infections, and the pace of life picks up again. But yesterday we got to pull over onto the hard shoulder for a while, and that was nice.