Paradigm Shifts, or When Things Go Wrong

“I’ll just have to rise to the occasion and do something spectacular again.  Spectaculars always take so much out of me.”
– The Slipper and the Rose

Let's all follow Mr. Adam's advice here, eh?

And now, piglets, we come to the most dangerous and destructive incidents in preparing for a move: when things go wrong, or at least ridiculously awry.   Because they will, and you need to be able to turn on a dime.  Airlines, families, governments, private crises, and various other instances and entities can and will throw your plans off rail and the savvy traveler knows how to land on his or her feet.

For example, Parliament enacted a policy yesterday that changes how and when dependent spouses of students can accompany them to the UK.  And, surprise surprise, we’re affected.  So was our holiday as it was spent forming a new stratagem to get back into a country that the US was currently celebrating it’s freedom from (the irony was not lost on us).

It’s not too tragic, my loves, never fear, but enough for us to largely scrap our plans and start over again in things like housing, travel, and other arrangements.  You may imagine how much this thrills a control freak like me.  My actual response was something along the lines of “Expletive expletive expletivey expletiving expletive!” but after a few minutes of intense angst and a couple hours agonizing to a lesser degree and research, J. and I solved it.  We’ve worked out several plans contingent upon these changes and are feeling, if not chipper about them, rather proud of turning about so quickly with panache.

You rang, m'lord?

Sidenote: world leaders, dictators, movers, shakers, celebrities and Very Important Persons, do any of you need a personal assistant?  One who can face nuclear disasters, ambassadors vanishing into the ether, botched public appearances, wardrobe malfunctions, catastrophic paperwork misfilings, and seemingly crushing misfortunes with a quick comeback and immediate, impressive action?  Call me.  I’m your girl.

In any event, my point is thus.  When planning a move, vacation, road trip, military expedition, weekend in Paris, or minor invasion, expect that something, somewhere will go wrong.  It’s the rule, the gods of travel have decreed it thus.  And more importantly, don’t panic.

If your plane is delayed, rerouted, or vanishes into the Bermuda Triangle, you can reschedule, sightsee, and make a good impression on the Higher Beings from the New Dimension as you settle into your new life.  If you are struck down by broken bones or falling crockery, you can get yourself patched up.  And if the British government changes their visa policies, you regroup, thank your lucky stars you didn’t book that weekend in Edinburgh already, and decide to go to the country as a visitor instead.  It’s a separate immigration headache, but it’s highly doable.

As Mum reminded me (in the sensible, crisp tone that she uses to pull me back from the ledge of entirely unwarranted freak outs) there is very little that constitutes a crisis.  J. not getting into grad school last minute, me losing my job, our passports getting stolen, our car breaking down irrevocably, and one of us coming down with a disease previous unknown to science is a crisis.  Having to fly back and forth to the US every handful of months is merely very, very inconvenient.

Perspective, kittens.  When things go wrong it often takes little more than the ability to 1) not whine and 2) get to work setting up a Plan B to set things right.  Because you are all do-ers, aren’t you?  That’s right!

7 thoughts on “Paradigm Shifts, or When Things Go Wrong”

  1. My dear friend, you forget the most trusty weapon in your arsenal – the wily, winsome grin. It will get you through any disaster, any government pogrom, AND surely get an intelligence agency or two observing you for no reason at all.

    My senior mother unit, since 2001, has been searched by TSA faithfully on every trip, domestic and foreign. Instead of getting upset she packs everything she owns in plastic bags. You are correct, it is all in perspective. Put everything in the proverbial plastic baggies and you’ll be fine!

  2. Oh, poor you! *&*^#@!*)_)^%@!@*!!! indeed.

    But you are wise beyond your years to take this crap in stride. I had to get a ton of Xrays (not fun with a lot of cancer in my family) for my French fellowship, then they insisted on doing a whole new set when I got there because…naturellement — how could one possibly trust some Canadian X-ray machine?!

    Deep breaths. London and all its pleasures will make up for it.

    1. True, true. But if you would please be a pal and remind me of that fact from time to time, I would be greatly obliged.

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