I’m having one of those evenings that instead of a deja vu, it’s a glimpse of my future. A few weeks ago, I had jumped on an opportunity from a friend to see Jack Hanna, the famous zookeeper who often does the talk show circuit, freaking out David Letterman with snakes, tigers and obnoxious monkeys. He was doing a private show downtown for a group of benefactors of a charitable organization. The kids had a busy weekend, and I was a bit worried that they were going to be too overwhelmed with homework, but they weren’t. Instead, last evening their friend convinced them to go out to eat tonight and then to downtown Nashville for a hockey game. Brentwood High School is playing another local rival for the state championship. I encouraged them to go and even threw in some money for their dinner out and tickets. I came in from yoga and they were leaving. We exchanged goodbyes, I reminded Aaron to be a safe driver, to have fun and they were off. They hadn’t really remembered about the Jack Hanna date night with Mom and that’s fine. But, some things came up for me after an intense yoga practice today. My instructor reminded us of how we go through our yoga practice always anticipating what the next move is going to be. He challenged us to give that up both in our yoga practice and to stop living in autopilot, constantly anticipating what lies ahead. I reflected on this on the drive home. I think my autopilot life started with getting pregnant. At the school where I taught at the time, four teachers, all good friends became pregnant with our first around the same time. All of us read What to Expect when You’re Expecting, the sacred book of pregnancy and delivery, where you learn every detail of your pregnancy, including comparisons of your baby’s size each month with some sort of fruit (“Wow! Your baby is the size of a blueberry this month” Yuck!) When Aaron and Lauren were babies and toddlers, I would be in constant preparation for the next meal and for the next nap. I would question everything, wondering when they would reach the next milestone. What was wrong with Aaron that he didn’t have any teeth yet when Sean was two weeks older than him and he had three? Why wasn’t Lauren walking yet when some of my friends’ kids were running? We went through the motions of each year of school, planning for Christmas vacation months ahead of time, spring breaks and summer camps. Things have changed, but we are still going through the motions. Now, it’s all about planning for summer jobs, college, and preparing for the dreaded junior year of high school. I have learned that the best life for me is one without regrets so I won’t begrudge my past decisions to plan ahead. I think there is probably some truth that my kids are well adjusted and do well in school because they plan and budget their time. I know that I can’t stop meal planning because as I’m writing this there is a chicken roasting in the oven for tomorrow night’s dinner because I have a meeting after school. I really want to live a more present life, a “go with the flow” mindset, but the truth is that my Jack Hanna-less night has given me a glimpse of a very quiet house, something I really didn’t plan on.