The Best Laid Plans

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The Best Laid Plans

Plans. We all make them. We try to follow them. More often than not, things don’t always go as planned.

I look at my life and wonder how everything got so convoluted. One year in Mexico has turned into more than a decade. But oh the incredible adventures I’ve had. I’ve met amazing people and traveled to fascinating places.

I had just settled in to a comfortable routine of six months in Mexico and six months in Leavenworth, with side trips to Canada to see my kids. When I headed south in the fall of 2019, I was returning to Aguascalientes. Yes I’d visited the museums and art galleries the previous winter, but I’d also made friendships and I had volunteer work planned. Needless to say traveling was also on the agenda.

The six months became eleven when Covid arrived. I watched way too many movies in Spanish on TV, colored for hours on end and found games to play on my phone that were quite addictive.

I used up all my gel pens and markers. I colored every single page, including the title page, of a book I’d brought with me. I headed for the nearest papeleria and bought crayons and children’s coloring books, all that was available in my area.

I spent hours in meditation and prayer, a most welcome respite especially after dealing with INM and obtaining an extended stay when my visa expired. I must admit it was a much easier process getting that extended stay in the USA a few months later.

I arrived in Leavenworth in late September with the idea that I’d pick up my warmer clothes and head up to Canada. These plans changed when numerous restrictions regarding travel and quarantine were enforced. I must admit I quite enjoyed the mild winter here as compared with the brutal winters on the Canadian prairies I had experienced in the past.

It’s now August and I haven’t made it back to Canada yet. Yep, eleven months and counting. But a very different life than I had in Mexico. I can’t remember the last time I colored, although I did take out my acrylics and paint yesterday. Movies are now in English and I’m usually with friends when watching. No games on my phone anymore. They’ve all been moved onto my tablet lol.

Of course it’s also been a very different experience here in the USA this year. I used to wear a mask because of smoke from fires, not because of COVID-19. My volunteer work has dwindled down to teaching fitness classes. Lunches and activities at the Senior Center are mere memories, as are book club and programs at the library.

I’m constantly being asked when and where I’ll travel to next. My answer remains the same. I don’t know. Rules regarding travel change every day. I’ve given up making plans as they keep changing as well.

There is only one constant in my life right now. As the deadline of September 20th approaches, I will be en route to Canada or Mexico. If it’s Canada I don’t know where my destination will be. I have kids in two different provinces. If it’s Mexico I will definitely be on my way to Aguascalientes. To me these are all long range plans and I have more than enough trouble making even short range plans now.

For now, my plans are merely whatever happens to fall together. Extreme mindfulness.

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