Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ah the preparation one makes energetically for travel

So, the months roll into weeks, weeks into days and days into hours when an event is looming.

For most people a trip overseas is a wonderful break and whilst we really look forward to that too, those who run their own businesses know the insurmountable amount of work that can build up just before departure............ Wow - what a week, what a day!

I think the universe must have decided this week "well if anything is going to come unstuck, please make sure it happens before they depart" phew........

Not just the wonderful, exhilarating, exhausting kid stuff - which not to discount the "no you may not run around the paddock naked in mid winter just because you can hear a rooster across the valley & can't wait to get clothes on to see if you can see it 2-4kms away on the side of a bushy, tree filled hill" type of busy.
Nor the "I don't really care that the peacock has not seen your new clothes right now" either, nor the "no, it is not acceptable to go out shopping in your pyjamas and bare feet at lunch time"

And whilst it IS funny to see how many people will truly think you are a weirdo if you plaster a grin all over your face and do not change your expression for 9 hours at the bank and shopping centre, it is EXHAUSTING honey!

No not that usual kids stuff that makes you wonder if anyone REALLY told you all the ins and outs of being a parent before you had them if you yourself would have run away through the hills naked and not come back for a VERY long time, yet, once they are in bed and you tuck them in, all the frustrations melt away at the delightful little beings laying in bed looking like angels (once their mouths are closed). I always find is a little sad if they fall asleep before I get there then too.

What I am talking about here, is the - OK we're leaving for a few weeks, people are staying in our house, my assistant is running the business, all hands on decks, man the posts, does everyone know what they are doing and where they are at - type of busy.
Yes, the documents are all photocopied in triplicate (just in case) the seats allocated on the plane .......

(OMGoodness, slight digress here - you know how as well as the big goals in life you have those tiny ones along your life path. The ones that don't really matter if they never happen, but just some tiny part of you really hopes they will, one of mine - I have always wanted to fly upstairs in a plane, probably nothing different once I get there, buuuutt, I remember being 9 years old and looking up that spiral staircase on a plane wondering what the glamorous people do up there as a hostess hurriedly ushered me past the winding gates to heaven to MY seat, the one down the back, crammed in between the Granny with a curly white hair poking out of her chin and the public lavatory across the aisle, all is forgotten as kids meals and special treats are handed out, but then as the day goes on and night draws, people begin to fall asleep and I wonder what THEY are doing up there.

My mind dances with them dressed in glamorous ballgowns, sipping martinis and laughing at idle chit chat (I know, I know, where did the seats go and the ballgowns appear from, but hey, I'm 9 and the alternative is far more fun)
So I checked in online today and a little blue box flashed on the screen asking if we wanted to be seated downstairs or up?
You know that feeling - when the outside of your body is quite still and yet a couple of tiny butterflies float up in your chest flapping about!
I missed a breath and looked again, yes, there is was "would you like to be seated upstairs"? I clicked (trying to be so nonchalant) Yes, please!
Oh my giddy aunt, it clicked through, to which seats would you like here Mrs Mitchell?

Still not quite believing it, I clicked again and yes, one by one each UPSTAIRS seat was confirmed, my page was completed, clicked through, boarding passes printed and I looked down at the seating numbers (I'm still not quite counting on it all yet - dare we dream that far in advance), but yes, I am quite sure my assistant and Daryll both had a tiny lip curl smile as I did the happy dance around the office . Yes, OK, so it was that exact moment that a clinic client entered to complete their session and looked at me with the same tiny lip curl grin - don't care! I'm holding UPSTAIRS tickets - woo hoo, high 5, I'm there!
Oh yes, I've got the ballgown picked out in my mind (to others it may look like trousers & a cardigan) I've got the tall martin in the glass (to others it is wildly disguised as a cup of tea), kids what kids ? They are the many adoring admirers that will hang off my every word as I tousle my hair and chuckle at my own jokes.

Giving thanks to the universe for the little goals that really mean nothing but add so much to this journey of life!

Digress returning........... so back to the office, papers copied, credit card accounts notified, all people on hold, we're done!
Or so it is that every efficient person thinks, until .......................

The printer jams with a hose into the ink system (hmm most peculiar, been using one to do around 3000 pages a day for 12 years - never had that happen, no matter, I un-click the cartridges, release the jammed hose and off we go again, but oh, no, we hadn't realised that the jam had severed the ink hose.
Unable to get the ink to flow I call in the over the phone tech help, we begin with, do you have the clips - yes, syringe, cables, ink, grommets, tape, travel plugs, lots of paper underneath you, toilet roll at the ready, tweezers, the titanic just waiting by in case?
Check - all prepared, they guide me through the process, saying "now be careful, this is not the usual way to do this and too much pressure will cause an ink fountain, are you sure you've got it?"

Hey, I'm good, I delivered children naturally, I can do this!
Gently squeeze, the tiny trickle of ink moves down the tube, all good, a little more, it keeps coming, it hits the piece that was caught and stops! Keep pressing gently, nothing happens, press a bit more, yes, it begins to flow past and into the cartridge, keep pressing the cartridge begins to fill up, then suddenly this black blob of ink begins to seep out of the hose, "Oh no, I shout, it's leaking" this blob is getting huge, I stare at it, wondering how a piece of liquid ink can grow so huge, I bend in closer to have a better look - mistake number 1, it's not a blob at all, but a bubble and as I lean in, it pops!

You know that point in life where you realise something has just happened and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it so you just stand still and don't move (what is that! perhaps a throw back to the Opossum days of playing dead), I had felt a tiny spatter of ink on my face, nothing much to worry about I think.
I sop up the ink with the toilet paper, raise the cartridge and go into the bathroom to look in the mirror.
Oh my, I look like Pippi longstocking, with freckles from one side of my face to the other - except they are black, not brown!
Ah, well, worry about that later I guess!

The tech' suggests a hot glue gun, OK, sure the only one I had was filled with silver sparkles glue, but hey, even a printer can sparkle, (footnote - don't try this - it just gave the printer arm more to hang on to and ripped the tube in half). Ink begins to slowly (but unstoppably) trickle out the cartridges, over the bench and down the desk. This time I move!
Paper, toilet roll, for goodness sake doesn't anyone in this office wear those bulky menstrual pads that would be just perfect right now!

Plan B: new printer installed, but no luck, it's new and so not yet friends with the computer and they refuse to play nicely together.
Eventually (with Daryll's help, 4 hours later and countless toilet rolls) we reinstall the old printer with the new cartridges and get it all up and working again.

Tomorrow I will get a new hose and the tech' tells me if I can go through what I did today replacing hoses on an ink system holding 450 mls of 4 different coloured inks should be a walk in the park. I'm not quite so sure I share his optimism yet.

Feeling a little overwhelmed with so much to do before tomorrow night (yes, including the 5 classes we are teaching tomorrow ........ well originally our flights left on Saturday so - plenty of time, however, they were bumped forward 2 days, I begin classes at 9am and finish at 10.30pm (with a 3 hr gap where - sure I could sit on the balcony and drink tea, yet because we just love to give our kids the best opportunities we can, I have the delight and pleasure of l school pick up, tennis drop off, ballet drop off, jazz dancing drop off, tap dancing drop off, tennis pick up, dancing pick up, dinner, bed, showers, stories and back in the class room by 7.45pm (Gotta love Wednesdays)

It still amazes me, how you get what ever you ask for, I was really needing some more time and I like to think my darling friends in the spirit world heard my call and said "OH, OK, no more emails to Lesley today please", boom - complete email system off line, nothing, zip, nada, every email sent bounces back to the sender.
Daryll turns that funny shade of grey he maintained for around 6 hours last month when the entire networking system and all data crashed out.

Lucy, Izzy, Annaliese & Penny
Me, well, I did get to walk outside and look at the peacock (not ours, but he has a fascination with our chooks, so comes to visit daily, we named him Phineus) He protects the chooks from dangerous predators - like the miner birds and our girls nestle in under his wings to rest where he resplendently fans out around them in glorious colours, like a magnificent Egyptian king with his harem.
Some mothers have joked "heaven help any rooster that tried to impress them now"

Phineus scaring off the Miner birds
So I watched Phineus and his harem and Daryll stayed grey and frantically toggled computer buttons & called techs in between clinic clients.

Never mind, Daryll tells me - "we'll get it fixed and at least I have the files all backed up on the lap top ready to take away with us now"

A phone call comes in and our darling son asks to speak to Daryll whispering "it's pretty urgent mum"
You know that tone, where it could be that he has accidentally severed his arm and it (the arm, not attached to the child) is hanging over the washing line where he shouldn't have been swinging, you know something is wrong, but ah, yes, it's that tone that says "I think I've really screwed up this time".

Phone handed over to Daryll and there is is, that shade of grey again slowly seeps over his face.... He asks "what happened, when, how", his voice slows down "tell me exactly which ones"
He's not running outside, so I am thinking that all body parts are in tact and no excessive blood loss is transpiring, then the inevitable "exactly which button did you push, which file configuration changed young man"

Oh goodness, there's the young man thing - boy - you just know you are in trouble now.
"I'll be there in a minute"

I scurry into the office and submerge myself in the mountain of papers that were threatening to engulf me anyway.
He reappears and says "our darling son has just killed the laptop Lesley and all your files with it, at this stage I'll need to zip out and buy a new one first thing in the morning"

I nod, frowning, but inside am thinking, "OK guys (in the spirit world) I get your point, I won't take work with me, you can give him back his laptop now!
I stroll into the Renascent kitchen to get some soup & a cracker, Daryll runs out yelling "No, Lesley, Don't, he couldn't help it" (he must have thought I had finally snapped and our son was in mortal danger) I look up at him, quite guilty as I am literally caught with my hand in the cookie jar and just a slight smattering of crushed crackers escape my lips as I mumble "Jusht having a cusp of soup"
"Oh, sorry" he says, sheepishly walking back into his office with his next clinic client.

And there it was, the shade of grey was just ever so slightly replaced by a little colour.

Sure, the day pans out, the ink system is working, the techs fix the email (& get it on an even better web based system), Daryll is delighted that he fully retrieved the lap top, my assistant has everything in the office under wraps, the kids are fed and in bed, the girls have gone to bed and Phineus has wandered off to wherever he sleeps at night, clinic clients are treated and hopefully feeling better and tables are laid out for tomorrows classes.

Hopefully there's nothing else the universe, needs me to be aware of before departure and I can't help but remember back to a time in Bali (when I lived there for 6 years) and the energies of the land always made people slow down once they arrived.
It was common knowledge that if people refused to take it easy and slow down, inevitably an accident would take place, where they would be forced to rest and I wonder whether we are getting things tidied up here or whether the spirit of Bali has already moved in and said "Chill out man, it's all good"