Preparing For Chaos

About ten years ago, my wife and I prepared a birth plan in preparation for our daughter’s birth. I’m big on being prepared. I seem to recall that we also gave copies to both our doula and doctor. I had the dumbass idea that everything would just go according plan. I have a very good friend who is a labour and delivery nurse, and she finds that pretty funny because she knows that rarely do births go “according to plan”.

Sure enough, very little about our daughter’s birth went according to plan. She was a week “late”. We didn’t want to get to the hospital during the shift change, which is exactly when we ended up getting there when our doula said, “if you’re going to the hospital, you need to go now,” because of how rapidly my labour progressed.

I was going to have a “natural” birth, without any pain medication. Yeah, that didn’t happen. It turned out that our daughter was born with a head size in the 90th percentile and couldn’t make it out, so I had to have a c-section.

But then she came out and her Apgar score was only 3. They rushed her out of the room (I was pretty oblivious to that part), with my wife going with them. That was in the birth plan. If something was wrong, my wife was to go with the baby. This was the part of the plan we figured (hoped) wouldn’t be relevant, and it turned out to be important. We thought we were preparing for things to go smoothly, when in fact we were prepared for the chaos.

RakeI was listening to some training from Brendon Burchard this morning while mowing the lawn. He was talking about setting goals and making plans to achieve them, but to be prepared for the chaos that frequently comes up and gets in your way. I made a mental note of that and went about mowing the lawn.

A few minutes later I went into our garden shed to get something, accidentally stepped on the edge of a rake and was promptly smacked in the side of the head by the handle. Thankfully my sunglasses didn’t break and likely protected my eye, but it was a pretty good whack upside the side of my head, literally.

I’d set out to mow the lawn and then get on with my day. We have an electric mower and the cord didn’t want to stay attached to the plug so it took me far longer than expected, and then the rake attacked me. Chaos. It happens so how do we work with it? I’ve learned:

  • When possible, be prepared, just as we were with that part of our birth plan.
  • Schedule some buffer time. Chaos can often make things take longer than you expect.
  • Learn from the chaos and take advantage of the opportunities it presents. I honestly didn’t know what I was going to write for this post until I got smoked by the rake handle through my own carelessness.

Note: I’m sorry that I can’t share the direct link to what I was listening to, but it’s in an area that I pay to access.


Picture courtesy of Don LaVange under a CC-BY-SA license.

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