Change of Plan

I work in a Salon. I know when you think of a Salon, you picture laughter, coffee being sipped, gossip about the latest escapades of the neighbors and the smell of perm solution. Most days that is exactly what it looks and sounds like. Unfortunately life isn’t always so kind or easy. Some days, we are helping someone rebuild their lives. Some days we are helping someone have their hair “just so” to attend the funeral of a loved one. Some days we are helping a woman make the decision of shaving her head before all her hair falls out because of the chemo. Some days we are pampering our clients and taking an few extra minutes because we know it is the first time they have had for themselves in weeks because they are the caregiver of a loved one. Some days, we share our dreams of what we thought our life was going to look like. Some days, we are helping one another find our new normal.

When I was young, I had a vision of what my life would be. I was going to be a lawyer, living in SOHO in an awesome apartment with a fridge that was stocked with champagne and left over Chinese food from the fabulous place around the corner. I was never going to be married and no kids. Fast forward to 1992, he walked by and plans changed. Over a coffee that lasted 6 hours I had a new vision of what my life would be. I had no idea the career path I would take ( realized I wanted to be a lawyer on T.V. more than a lawyer…Hill Street Blues…enough said). What I did know was he was going to be in my life for a very long time, and for the first time in my life, I could see myself walking down the aisle, plans changed. Fast forward to 1996 and much to my surprise I find myself thinking it is time for us to try to have a baby. Poor hubby didn’t get much time to get used to the idea – got pregnant literally two weeks after going off the pill. You know it’s quick when your Doctor says “Did you just do it last night Sara?”, plans changed. Once our lovely, beautiful girl was born , as all parents do, we dream. We dream of our child’s future, and on those sleepless nights we dream of our lives alone with our beloved once the child has grown. Oh come on! All parents think of this…you know you do…the jig is up. Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2011. My hubby had a heart attack. Plans changed. While he was being admitted to the CCU, I sat alone in a blue waiting room, staring out the window at the night sky and said goodbye to best laid plans. As I sat there, I wasn’t thinking of the trips we didn’t take, I didn’t think of things we hadn’t done. I sat there thinking of how it felt to have my husband’s hand in mine. I thought of the sound of my husband’s and daughter’s laughter in unison. The dreams of travel and summer homes weren’t so important anymore, plans changed.

Fast forward to present day. Hubby’s heart is strong, so strong that he ran on treadmill for his stress test for over 10 minutes. (which made me realize it was time to get my lazy ass off the couch ‘cuz I didn’t have a heart attack and couldn’t run for 2 minutes -let alone 10). To support my beloved we changed our diet, we cut out the junk. We bought an exercise bike, we go for walks, we went for a hike to see the waterfalls that I didn’t know were a 45 minute drive from my home. Some days our plans change because my hubby isn’t feeling so great – be it from the medication or life stresses. (The heart and stroke foundation have a wonderful video series explaining the emotional/mental toll that heart attack/stroke can take on the patient – http://www.heartandstroke.ca ). Many friends and loved ones understand this, some, sadly do not, and that is okay, that is their journey, this is mine. Plans changed.

Plans change. Some times the road you are travelling is a dead end and you have to turn around, plans change. You thought you would look like Jessica Rabbit with red hair but you ended up looking like Ronald McDonald – back to the salon you go, plans change. You said you would never marry or have kids, plans change. You thought your life was going to be different, plans change. What I have learned – the plans change, for the better.

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