The dominoes were in place, perfectly positioned for a smooth but exciting wave when the first tile would be toppled. What I didn’t count on were the numerous domino paths already undulating towards me from other directions.
Domino mazes are intriguing . There was a time when Blue Boy and Mowgli spent much of their free time constructing mazes using dominoes, blocks, and books. The boys learned that the size, quality, and weight of the building materials impact the outcome. They also had to beware of the dog as well as a belligerent brother.
No, I have not been playing with dominoes except for Mexican Train. As I walked today the analogy came to me that my life has felt like a domino maze. I had finally given my notice of retirement at my last part-time job, taking weeks to prepare for my exit. In the mean time I was invited to an event in Chicago, and took advantage of my upcoming freedom to book a weekend flight. I would have several days between retirement and travel to relax and prepare. When I returned, I would be in full retirement mode, setting my own schedule. The dominoes were set; I had not even tipped the first one when other lines came roaring in.
First, the Chicago event was cancelled due to a health emergency. The cost of rebooking the flight was enormous prompting me to continue to Chicago but change my itinerary for the weekend. Then, a long-time member of the congregation passed away, prolonging my stay at work to accommodate the funeral. Meanwhile, Jigga the dog had surgery with the recovery requiring more attention than we had energy for with ED out of town. C-boy and P-DiL came for the weekend which always calls for a party at the house. The email to check into my flight arrived with the offer that, due to anticipated inclement weather, the airline would allow me to change my flight within a day or two for free (Come on, American, just give me a voucher!). Checking the forecast, I opted to wait until the next morning which allowed me to get the house back together before leaving.
There is something exhausting about sitting squeezed like a sardine in a can hurtling through the skies. As I age, the two hour time change is more demanding. Getting to bed early in Chicago assured that I could get rested before heading east the next day into a different time zone. But another domino stopped my track: an infection kept me awake all night.
YD and I enjoyed time with friends in Michigan in spite of another sleepless night. Lying awake staring at the clock as Daylight Savings Time came to an end confused my mind and body. By the time I returned home two times zones and two days later, I was exhausted and nauseous, rendering me useless before I could see the doctor the next day.
And just in time for Jigga to have a second more complicated surgery requiring even more attention.
These first world privileged problems serve to remind me that I have been given a great supply of dominoes. Others plow through and borrow some or dislodge mine throwing me off track. But I can sit back and start over. Where I am at, I can have compassion for those who must play with the cheap plastic set, don’t understand the science of toppling, and are constantly overtaken by the heavy ivories.
The great domino mazes are produced by teams of people. Our lives are better and more interesting if we work as a team. God will get a kick out of it.