In the desperate days following TC’s attack, I used to wish for the type of day to day problems that used to drive me nuts: unpaid bills, dirty bathrooms, unreturned e-mails. You know the type. Now I find myself buried under an unnaturally monstrous load of administrative and household maintenance tasks. You would not believe how much work it takes to go from being a two income typical American family to the full time chauffeur of a two year old and a disabled husband. Lots of paperwork involved.
I suppose the moral of the story is be careful what you wish for. To anyone who has the misfortune of calling me this week, I’d like to issue a public apology. Cranky would be a generous description of my overall mood and I have been more than eager to describe (i.e. dump) my plight on anyone polite enough to listen. Each time I have thrown my hands up in the universe in frustration and asked, “What more?,” that silly little universe has found a new and creative speed bump to throw in my path.
It doesn’t help that I have a terrible habit of trying to do it all. At one time. And as I prepare to go out of town this weekend for my first fun retreat in over half a year, I have tried to get every possible affair in order. In my ideal mind, I get on the plane, I order a bloody mary, and then I worry about NOTHING. For 72 hours. I have been determined to make it happen.
But today, as I tried to keep my balance in the heavy rain and wind, my wet hair blowing in all directions and sticking awkwardly to my face, I was ready to admit defeat. I was getting in the car after a 2.5 hour vet appointment, feeling $500 poorer, and wondering how, with all my responsibilities, I’d ever remember to give Spencer the expensive ear drops he’d just been prescribed. I barely remember to brush Jack’s teeth let alone check to make sure TC has taken his seizure medicine. Overwhelmed would be one word choice, but I’m not sure it fully captures the insanity of my daily to do list. The real kicker of today though was not the weight of yet another responsibility, it was the frustration of feeling frustrated.
“Why am I so annoyed this week?,” I wondered silently. “Why are all these stupid things getting to me?” I was under the assumption that the newfound insight I’d gained as a result of recent life experiences would be enough to combat the blues associated with the more mundane life issues. Getting upset about vet bills and carpet stains is what normal people do. I’m supposed to be enlightened!
But with a daily schedule that involves clocking 3-4 hours in the car (not counting the frequent commutes up to DC!), I realize I, like everyone else, need a daily dose of soulfulness. Sure, my frequent trips to Starbucks provide momentary joy in a jam packed day, but they’re not exactly the type of reflective, meditative experience that rejuvenates the soul.
Realizing that I need these moments of inspiration to live better has been as important a discovery as figuring out exactly how to achieve them. These days I am much better trained to find opportunities for a soul infusion. Sometimes it’s just a matter of allowing myself to enjoy them. I hope that in writing this new blog, I will have the pleasure of sharing these moments with others and generating some positive energy around the challenge of living better.
And as for today, I am wisely putting away my to do list to enjoy some quiet time with Jack. I’m not sure there is anything more therapeutic than snuggling with a child. I believe the wisest parents take advantage of this for as long and often as their kid will allow. Tomorrow will bring a new list of chores and challenges, but for now, I will allow the steady rain and the warm sweetness of my son’s body to infuse me with a much needed dose of peace.