As Planned

Chaos is a word that makes me cringe.  I hate the idea of things being out of place, unorganized or not following some logical flow.  I am comfortable with IF/THEN statements.  I thoroughly enjoy seeing things that are supposed to happen happen.  This can be a problem in the IT world, but that’s a separate entry.

For some time now, I have dreamed of trying stand-up comedy.  Every time I see an ad for open-mic night, I internally resolve to put together 15 minutes of material and give it a shot.  But given that I am terrified of crying myself offstage, I instead live vicariously through the many stand-up comedians I enjoy watching on a regular basis.  Specifically, I was a big fan of the show Last Comic Standing.  The winner of the first season was a comedian by the name of Dat Phan.  Not only did he pour himself into his material, he trended his jokes by the responses he received on stage.  He segmented his jokes by time so he could build a routine to fit a time constraint.  His notes were meticulous and he continuously tweaked his material until he felt it was just right.  When he won the overall contest, I felt there was a sense of universal validation where the most prepared person ended up on top.

This past Saturday, my daughter received her First Holy Communion.  For Catholics, it’s a pretty big deal.  For Hispanic Catholics, it’s the biggest event outside of a wedding.  The process of getting Natalie ready for her First Communion was two years in the making.  It began with me getting the information on CCD classes, registering with our Parish, and ensuring she made it to her classes every week.  It also involved completing projects and prep work with her at home, ensuring all the administration (baptismal certificate, etc.) was done, and making time at home to talk to her about Jesus and what we believe as Catholics.

To say the least, it was a rather drawn-out process.  When it came time for the actual event, there were seating logistics to deal with as well.  The first several rows of pews were reserved for the children receiving the sacrament (there were about 50 or so kids).  The next several rows were reserved for the parents and family of the kids.  Seating was on a first come, first served basis and only four family members per child were allowed in the parents’ reserved area.  Having been to the rehearsal, Alex – Natalie’s mom – and I knew whereabouts Natalie would be sitting during the ceremony.  We made it a priority to get to the church early and stake our seats in the first row in the parents’ section.

As luck, and preparation, would have it, Natalie ended up sitting right in front of us during the ceremony.  This was especially nice since it allowed us to better share the ceremony with her, and it allowed me to get really great, up close pictures of her as well. The whole ceremony turned out to be just beautiful, and we were like Bob Uecker in the front row for the whole thing.

They say that life is what happens in between making plans.  It is said even the best laid plans can go to hell in a hand basket for no apparent reason.  Sister Hazel will tell you that life got in the way.  I’m cool with that, and for the most part, that’s been my experience in life.  Still, there is that inner control-freak that just loves to see logic rule the universe and isn’t happy unless ‘A then B then C then D’ is a true statement.  Every now and then, it’s nice to have the pieces fall into place and the planning turn out the way it’s supposed to.  All too often we’re busy reacting to life and accepting that everything happens for a reason.  Like this past Saturday, it’s really nice when life simply goes as planned.

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