Sunday, April 27, 2014


I am not a spontaneous person. I like things planned way ahead and prepared for carefully. But recently, we did something that really goes against my nature and it paid off, in a big way: we decided to drive down to Florida at 7ish one evening and were gone by 10am the next morning!!!

First let me tell you what triggered this decision. Cédric had a pretty hard winter. We're demanding of him both at IBI and at home and the winter has been so hard, so long, so cold! By early March, he was miserable at least half the time on most days, and he's usually our little ray of sunshine, with only short bursts of unhappiness. And of course, that rubbed off on us. Both Dave and I were getting frustrated and tired. All three of us had major cabin fever.
And on Wednesday March 5th, right before March break, I lost my mind! Just a little, just for a short while; but in a real way, I felt that I was losing control. I first got mad due to a toilet training failure event (I'll spare everyone the details), then something snapped and I lost all feeling. I started talking slowly, in a very monotonous voice, my eyes felt like they were wide open, too wide, but I couldn't do anything about it, and I was in slow motion. I suddenly felt exhausted and the smallest movements were hard.
In my mind, though, I was wide awake and fully rational. I kept telling my self that something weird was happening and that I had to snap out of it, but I couldn't.
When Dave came home, a couple of hours later, I immediately warned him. I didn't want him to think I was mad about something, acting passive-aggressive for something he might have said or done. But I knew I wasn't myself and that he would notice something was wrong.
We'd talked/joked the week-end before about going back to Florida during March break. But we had just come back from a Xmas vacation there, and we were leaving for Portugal in April. So between the expensive plane tickets, the short amount of time available and the fact that Dave would need time off work again, we had concluded it wasn't possible.
We did have a medical appointment in Southern Ontario, but we were just going to drive down, spend a day in Toronto and drive back.

But on that Wednesday night, finding me in that weird state, Dave suggested that we cancel our appointment, take off, and just drive to Florida. He would have to miss work for over a week, I would have to cancel a next day supply teaching assignment, we would have to change the medical appointment to a phone consult. It would also mean packing last minute, with no preparation. And most of all, it would mean 3 long days of driving and 3 of driving back for only 5 days there.
But it would take us out of the house, out of a Timmins, out of winter, out of our routine... And we all needed out. Plus if all went well, it would allow us to get there on Dave's Dad's 60th birthday and surprise him.

Normally, knowing myself, that would have freaked me out, and I would have said no. There were too many implications and not enough time to prepare. But I was not myself! At first, I was unable to decide, or even care. I told him to do what he wanted and that I would just go along with whichever plan. We had to go out to the library for a half hour of reading to the dogs, and the need to appear normal and act appropriately with relative strangers allowed me to snap out of it! And at that point I realized we needed the break, one way or another, and I agreed.

It goes against my nature, in a big way, because so much could go wrong and we were so unprepared.
I truly believe the homeopathy treatment I have been doing (more on that later) and the journey and growth Cédric's diagnosis have forced on me allowed me to say yes.
I was most worried about having Cédric strapped in his car seat for three days in a row, twice. But to that, Dave's argument was "miserable at home or miserable on the car makes no difference and at least we'll have 5 days of break".

So we put Cédric to bed and started packing!
Dave called his brother to ask if he could handle another week of work without him. Here I want to say how much I appreciate the fact that Dave is self-employed and that his partner is his understanding brother :D
He then called his Mom to make sure we could show up at their house last minute and pull off a birthday surprise for his Dad. I am also thankful for very inviting parents who are always welcoming :D
We packed our summer clothes, packed food in the cooler (Cédric's limited diet makes eating on the go challenging), we entered the destination into the maps app of Dave's iPhone and we just left.

I still can't quite believe how well everything went.
Soon after we left home, Cédric relaxed and became calm and happy. He started just making happy noises, chitchatting in his own way, and smiling. He stared contentedly out the car window. I don't know if he understood we were leaving, if he could just tell that this wasn't routine and that was enough, or if he felt our tension release, but he had not be this happy and relaxed in a long time!
From there, it was literally unicorn and rainbows :D
The weather was amazing, all the way down, 2800km of nothing but sunshine. The maps app did an amazing job, avoiding all traffic, bypassing big cities, taking us all the way there without a glitch. We found motels whenever Cédric got uncomfortable in his seat, all of which were clean enough and right by the road to not lose any time (and in the US, really cheap!).
We got there when we had planned, we surprised Grand-Papa, we went to Disney (parks, water parks, shopping), we soaked up the sun.
We didn't really plan, we stayed flexible and went with the flow and it agin paid off. When you plan too much, things that go wrong are more upsetting and seem more dramatic. I enjoyed myself tremendously, taking things as they came, and time seemed to go slower than it usually does for me on vacation. I wasn't ahead of everything, trying to plan the next step. I was in the moment!
Dave also really a enjoyed the vacation, saying he didn't want to leave because things were going so well he wanted them to last a little longer.
And I think Cédric really enjoyed it too. First he was thrilled to not have to wear his winter things. And he was so happy to be outside. Despite waking up at 3am both days we were going to DisneyWorld, he stayed awake there and enjoyed it. The rides, the music, the colour, the atmosphere... he really loves it there!
He was just as much of an angel on the way back. The road went equally well, the weather was just as good.
And Cédric has been much better since! He is sad and upset less often, and it doesn't last as long.
Of course, there are consequences. He slept in our room for 11 days, so he is now refusing to go to bed alone in his room. But we are now relaxed and able to take the challenges patiently and work on them.

I think this taught me three things (as I write, I was going to say one, then two, and realized it was it might have taught me much more and I don't realize it yet, but three is pretty good for a quick March break).
First, I learnt I have limits (which I knew), and what to watch for so I don't get depressed or have an nervous breakdown.
Second, I learned that routine is not always the most important for Cédric, and that sometimes he needs a real break form his everyday too.
Third, and most important, I learnt that planning everything and obsessing about it is neither healthy, nor productive. I still like to be prepared for things and plan ahead to some degree. But now, I try to take it a little easier than I used to.

As a picture is worth a thousand words, here are a couple of photos from the trip:


  1. Sometimes spontaneity pays off! This was a hard winter. I cannot even imagine how hard it was where you live. You can see the happiness in the photos. You are an inspiration! Hugs!!

  2. Thanks La'Shawn!
    We really were relaxed and happy, it was an amazing feeling to just go with the flow and feel the stress melt away!


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