Monday, January 18, 2016

Much Too Busy

Originally published in the Miami News-Record on January 17, 2016.

Most weeks I succeed in achieving my goal of not going off the place for days on end. And then sometimes I have weeks like the past couple where I find myself in town pretty much every dadgum day. I don’t like those weeks.

Homeschooling is a flexible adventure, but at the same time I like order and well, it’s their futures at stake, so yeah. We don’t take many days off. We don’t even take snow days as a general rule. (I know, I know, I’m awful, just ask the kids.) They’re in 8th and 11th grade, so most of their work is self-directed, but they still need me around to guide them and keep them from “accidentally” playing X-Box and Candy Crush when they’re supposed to be learning about percentages, Puritan settlements, and Moby Dick. The weeks I have appointments and errands, I leave them in the capable hands of their daddy who works evenings and is here to help during the day. Of course, he loves him some Candy Crush as well ….. but that’s a story for another day.

Week before last I ran to town on Tuesday to pick up a prescription for Paul. Then the next day I realized we had four car tags due (poor car-buying planning on our part), two of them overdue. I hauled myself back to town to pay the overdue tags because ignorance is bliss and the fact that I was suddenly aware of the overdue tags meant I just KNEW I’d get a ticket. The day after that I had a dentist appointment. Friday and Saturday I got to stay home and do laundry. Sunday was church, Abby’s boyfriend’s baptism, lunch with the family, more church. I had officially been to town more times in four days than I usually am in an entire month.

When I checked out the calendar on Sunday night and it showed a fairly easy week with lots of time at home. I was glad.

Then…this week happened. A homeschooling friend invited us over for lunch. I had forgotten about Kady’s orthodontist appointment. We spent a day in Tulsa at doctor’s appointments. I attended the visitation of a dear lady from a family that was a major part of my growing-up.

I was missing my house, my routine, my sweats, my husband. My heart was heavy. After the day in Tulsa I left Kady at Abby’s house while I attended the visitation and had plans to just get her and go home afterward. But Abby had had a bad week and I was kind of missing her so I said, “Be ready when I get back and we’ll all go grab dinner.”

No boyfriends, no husbands, just me and my girls. We sat at a corner table at Arby’s for much longer than it took to consume our food. We laughed. We solved the world’s problems. (Now to get the world to listen to us.) We laughed some more. We got a few dirty looks from people who were not having near the fun we were. At one point Kady made a face that prompted Abby to say, “You looked like a lion….if that lion were about to eat a deer…..and you were possessed by a demon….yeah, that’s what you just looked like.” I laughed so hard I nearly cried off my mascara.

I think much too often we get caught up in our exhaustion, our stresses, our schedules, and our running that we forget to slow down, breathe, soak up time with the people we adore the most, laugh loud enough to get weird looks, and just be loved. I didn’t know how desperately I needed that crazy dinner with my girls. And I’m looking forward to this week and a ridiculous amount of time in my sweats. And I hear my husband is still hanging around, anticipating seeing my face again soon. I remain hopeful. 

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