Monday, October 12, 2009

Washing It All Away

Since Oct. 1, I have had some combination of kids and/or my husband home due to illness or in-service days at school. I love my family. I love the time I spend with them. I love working at home so I can be there for them when someone's sick. That said, 11 days ... is too much. I had such great plans last week and as soon as I put them into action, I got derailed. It was devastating but what could I do? My husband was on antibiotics. My son had a 103 fever. My daughter wasn't sick, but I was going to do everything I could to keep her from getting it. So I put my stuff aside for the most part and focused on taking care of them. I did manage to get out to a cafe and work for a few hours. That's something I like to do from time to time. It gives me a fresh perspective and often helps me feel like I'm not just stuck in the house all the time.

But today, at 8 am, I pulled into my garage after dropping off the kids at school and realized the house was all mine for the next 7 hours. I honestly didn't know what to do with myself at first. I know that sounds crazy, but it's true. First I spent some time just enjoying the quiet, going over emails, finishing a cup of coffee. Then I realized that I was just going to sit on my butt all day if I didn't get moving. I cleared away all the medicines that had been crowding the kitchen counter. All the papers that had just been left there until I could get to them "later." I gathered up all the table linens and tossed them in the washer. Then I did sheets. And then towels. I don't normally do laundry on Mondays, and in fact I find it a tedious chore (if only I could train it to fold itself!), but this felt like the right thing to do.

If everyone's getting better, then let's get rid of all the germs and START FRESH! I had a lot to catch up on from last week, but the more I thought about it, the more overwhelmed I became. So I figured this is just one day. I'll do what I can do today, and that will be enough. Some days it's more important to lay the foundation than to build three new floors, you know? Even SuperMom needs a day off once in a while. I looked at all my assignments, came up with a reasonable plan for the week, scheduled some appointments, did some very low-key research, and then ... I took some time to just relax. Could I have gotten more done if I really pushed myself? Sure. Would I have enjoyed it? Uhhh, hell no. But after the past 11 days, I wasn't going to let myself feel bad about it.

Now I've got the washer and dryer humming along, I have fresh linens on the kitchen table, my kitchen counter is recognizable again, my kids should be home from school in about 30 minutes, I'm not anywhere close to being "caught up" on work like I had intended to be by now, but I couldn't care less. I hate to go all Scarlett O'Hara here, but tomorrow is another day! I know what I'm capable of, and it'll all get done in due time.

What do you do to get back on track after your routine has been derailed?

3 comments:

Lance said...

Donna,
I'm reminded of a quote, reading here today:
"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." ~ Lao Tzu
It reminds me that life goes on. And maybe I don't always get done what I intended to, and that's okay.
For me, there's something about getting outside. Maybe a run. Maybe a game of football with the kids. Maybe just walking around the yard. It clears my head, and I can re-focus. And telling myself it's all okay...(easier said than done...)

Marisa (Trim The Fat) said...

That is such a great feeling - starting fresh. I like to do that, too after everyone has been sick.

I've often had that overwhelming feeling. Being at home is my job and I end up pushing a lot of stuff off until later to take care of everyone else. When I finally get the time to tackle something, it becomes a major chore and takes ten times longer to do it! I've found that lists are working well for me lately. Even if I cross off one or 2 things, I feel like I've at least accomplished SOMETHING! Plus, it keeps me from getting distracted so I stay on task to finish it.

Family Fitness Files said...

Thanks for reading, guys.

Lance: would've loved to have gone outside but am not sure I'm not getting sick and it was pretty chilly -- didn't seem like a good idea! But you're right, it can really clear your head.

Marisa: I'm a major list maker! Today I had so much swimming in my head, I couldn't even figure out where to start the list. But it's on paper now, so tomorrow will be more productive.