Caregiving, LizaMcC

August 12, 2021

Pivot Plan

Our Pivot Plan took us to the Lift Lock Cruise.
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My blog started as a way to document my journey to wellness, but turned into a place to be inspired by others through our collective messy & authentic stories. Now it's my favourite place to be.

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On Monday of this week, I wrote an Instagram post about making a pivot plan (See it here). For today’s blog, I am going to expand on what I wrote in that caption. I hope you’ll enjoy it. 

Our plan for Monday was to go on my Uncle’s boat. This was exciting for lots of reasons. It was exciting because while we’ve been on boat tours and they’re fun, they don’t go very fast at all – and both Owen and Will like the speed. So this boat ride was going to be a faster boat ride than any tour could ever offer us. It was also exciting because it reminded me that usually you just have to ask and people are willing to help. Sure, I know my Uncle is in my family circle but he doesn’t know Owen and Will and he’s not really involved in my work or school circle of people but lo and behold, we asked and he was eager to take the boys out on his boat.

As soon as the plan was confirmed, I started to talk to Owen and Will about it. We started to get excited about it. Will would shake his cheeks as if they were blowing in the wind and say ‘fast boat, yes!” And Owen would give his enthusiastic nods and look ready to get in the car to drive to the lake each time we talked about it. So needless to say, we were all very excited. 

But when we woke up that morning we couldn’t go on our fast boat ride. Something came up and we had to change our plans. We had to create a pivot plan quickly and figure something else out because I’d gotten the boys so excited for the boat ride that day. 

With the help of my Mom, we booked a Lift Lock River Cruise in Peterborough. It wasn’t a fast boat but it was still a boat. And we brought our swimsuits and picnic supplies to spend the rest of our day near and in the water at the park. 

We had so much fun! This was not at all the day we expected but it wasn’t a waste of a summer day or a day spent sulking that we couldn’t do what we had planned. We pivoted and we made it work.

Personally, I think looking forward to something is three quarters of the fun. This is why as soon as a plan is confirmed I like to tell Owen and Will (and everybody else) about it. So we can be excited together. 

But that morning I was sure I’d done a disservice by getting Owen and Will so excited just to let them down. 

Should I have kept quiet until we were actually on the boat? 

Should I have said nothing to avoid disappointment? 

Should I keep everything a secret so there is no chance that I’ll have to let them down?

Owen and Will like to know what’s ahead and don’t always love a change of plans, so maybe I should just keep outings a secret until the day of? So they can know the plan, but there is little chance of a change of plans? 

But after some thought, I don’t think I’m going to start keeping secrets and missing out on being excited together. 

Disappointment is part of life. But I hate seeing people disappointed (especially Owen and Will). But I also like getting excited about things ahead of time. This is something I think about a lot in the caregiving world – when so many people I support don’t like or understand a change of plans. It’s really hard to find a balance between excitement and the risk of disappointment.

While I know this won’t work for everyone I think it’s okay to get excited. I think it’s fun to dream of all the fun you’re going to have. It’s fun to make a plan. It’s fun to look at pictures and maps and get ready. I think it’s okay because I know there can always be a pivot plan. 

This means: 

  • Instead of going on a boat tour in Tobermory because your car breaks down – you go to the candy store and park instead (Read it here).
  • Instead of going on your fast boat ride – you go on a boat tour and then go to the beach. 
  • Going to a park with a swimming area because you realized the beach you had planned on going to is under construction for the next year. 

Sure, it might not be possible to pivot every time. Disappointment happens and is something that everyone needs to learn how to cope with. But when possible, why should we sit in this sadness when we can switch it up, change course, and pivot to something that can lessen the disappointment? 

If what you’re excited about can’t happen – with these guys you can just let it go – you’ve got to switch gears and make a new plan. And often, these last-minute plans can be the best ones. 

My summer with these guys has reminded me that we should all make plans that scare us or excite us and hope for the best. But when faced with disappointment we should just accept that this is means we’ve got to turn or rotate, like a hinge. We need to be the player that pivots back and forth on one foot to figure out the best next step. 

So, I don’t know about you but, we are going to keep making plans, getting exciting, pivoting and getting excited all over again. 

Liza McClelland

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  1. Deb P says:

    I love this!!!

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My blog started as a way to document my journey to wellness, but turned into a place to be inspired by others through our collective messy & authentic stories. We chat about themes that are often ignored and voices that aren't often given a chance at the mic. Now it's my favourite place to be. 

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