Life Teaches Me A Lesson

Categories: The Juggle


Last week, my to-do list was enormous. I still had some Christmas shopping to do, several freelance pieces to write, a few more to edit, all of the regular household chores to get through, and we had plans to drive down to my parents’ house for the weekend, for an early Christmas dinner and to celebrate my Dad’s birthday.

You know what they say about Life, though — it’s that thing that gets in the way when you’ve made other plans. I neglected to pencil in any down time for me during that frantic week. So Life did it for me.

The snow started falling gently late Wednesday night.

The baby started throwing up early Thursday morning.

By 10 a.m. Thursday, not only were we semi-snowed in, I had done several loads of pukey laundry, changed myself and the baby three times, and told my colleauges that I had to work from home. It was a challenging day.

Things got worse before they got better, of course. I had to cancel our trip to see my parents, eliminating one of my favorite parts of the holiday: The big feast with my far-flung family. My favorite cousin called me late Friday night, to say that he got the day off and was coming to the feast. I wasn’t going to be there. I cried.

On Saturday, my husband was so sick that he couldn’t move. I couldn’t get any work done. And by late Saturday night, I was sick, too.

Sunday I stayed in bed. And slept. And felt guilty that I had saddled my husband with the kids, but I soon got over that and slept some more.

All that rest would have felt wonderful if I hadn’t felt so terrible. Work was piling up, and I was too busy dry-heaving to handle it.

At one point Sunday evening, the little ones insisted on “cuddlin’ wit Mama,” and wrapped themselves around my arms and draped themselves over my chest. I lay on the couch, and thought about that enormous to-do list. And then I let it go.

Sick or not, I realized, lying there with my kids was so much better than taking care of anything on my to-do list.

Thanks for the reminder, Life.

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2 comments so far...

  • I read this post a while ago, but reading it again this week, I appreciate it all the more. We had a wonderful week of family here during Christmas doing our usual Christmas traditions. After the family had gone, my girls and I had a WONDERFUL and luxurious week of sleeping in and doing not much of anything. We played board games, went to the movies and checked out some fun museum exhibits. I even baked some cookies. There were no scrambles to make sure we got anywhere or did anything. It was just us doing whatever we felt like. It was heaven. Our time together is what truly matters. I’m glad too to have had that reminder.

    Amy S.  |  January 6th, 2008 at 7:24 pm

  • Thanks for your comment, Amy! You are so right: Our time with our loved ones is what really matters.

    Lylah  |  January 6th, 2008 at 10:21 pm