In which we discuss the Type A Personality.
In late July my Mom and Step-dad, Don, visited for a week. To say I was exhausted by the end is an understatement! My mom (one of my favourite people in the whole world) is a classic Type A. I’m actually surprised that some well-meaning prankster hasn’t gone in and replaced the picture on the wikipedia page with a glamour shot of my mom. I don’t have Webster’s in front of me, but I do have my friend wikipedia. Here is what it says:
“The theory describes a Type A individual as ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status conscious, can be sensitive, care for other people, are truthful, impatient, always try to help others, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, proactive, and obsessed with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving “workaholics” who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.”
I have italicized the aspects of this personality that I think are emphatically my mother. I want to make one thing clear before I continue: I do not see any of these aspects of her personality as negative. I think my mother is absolutely amazing. She is one of the warmest, most-loving and welcoming people I know (a trait she no doubt inherited from her own mother) who has a generosity of spirit that borderlines on angelic. Each of the personality traits listed above that might seem somewhat psychopathic are what makes my mother who she is. She has harnessed each of these traits in a way that allows her to be the absolute best at everything she does: being a mom, a step-mom, a husband, a grandmother, a friend, an employee, and a traveller of the world.
I take the time to appreciate her personality traits because it is precisely these things that make her so wonderful that also drive her loving, caring and appreciative daughter a little bit crazy. My mom arrived in London surprisingly relaxed. I say surprisingly relaxed because she had spent 2 very busy weeks in Rome. In my head her trip to Rome was spent like this: wake up with the cock crow, shower, drink coffee and breakfast, drag Don out of bed, get to itinerary item 1, then 2, then 3, then 4. Have lunch and a glass of wine. Get to itinerary items 5-8, then have dinner and wine. Check facebook, message children to inform of day and illicit jealous feelings, have another glass of wine (they’re in Italy!) and then sleep. Repeat for 14 days.
Oh yes, back to the arrival in London. My mom and Don’s flights were delayed a ridiculous amount. Thank you, Ryanair, for not being helpful in the least. I’ll only say here (I’d need a separate post for the activities on the day of their flights) that I didn’t get to see my mom until the day after she was meant to arrive in London. So given the stress of flying (she hates flying) the delays (nobody likes delays, especially without any information given), and not seeing her daughter when expected (obviously stress-inducing), I was really relieved to see her relaxed and happy.
We drank some coffee while they told me of their trip and spoiled me with some gifts from abroad (thank you!). I was so happy to see them; you can convince yourself you’re not home sick until you see your parents. Then the jig is up. After the catching up it was time to get to business: the serious business of what-we’-re-doing-from-sunrise-to-sundown.
As expected, my mom planned an exciting
week of activities for us. Also as expected, the activities were planned without much wriggle room. This spelled out for me two things: one, my mom was great at planning trips that Don and I would really enjoy and two, something would likely have to be missed. It’s so easy to get caught up in planning great trips that you forget to just enjoy the place you’re visiting with the people you love. Luckily, my mom is no stranger to these two facts so planned a fairly perfect trip! We did arrive late for some things (no surprise for anybody that knows the family) and we did have to re-schedule an event or two, but all in all I was so impressed by the planning and execution of the week that I must give praise to my mother.
So, to summarise here is what we did: The Taming of the Shrew at the Globe, a trip to St Paul’s cathedral, a night in Bath (visit to the Baths), a night in Salisbury (a trip to the cathedral and also Stonehenge), the Tower Bridge exhibition, afternoon tea and countless delicious meals!
It was so nice to visit with my mom and Don and I’m glad they could visit. Everyone should be so lucky to have a Type A personality planning their trips. They end up perfect!
Come back soon!