I worked all day Monday and then left work to drive to the pharmacy. I have been carrying a prescription around in my day planner for several weeks and it needed to be filled…now. I also had two other prescriptions at the pharmacy for my youngest daughter. They needed to be picked up now as well. After dropping the prescription off at the drive-through, I got a text. So I was trying to read it before rushing off to pick up my oldest from play rehearsal at school. It was Em’s piano teacher asking if she could come earlier than 6:30. Sure, I replied. I’ll be home at 5:30. It was all set. Picked up Rachel, rushed home for piano, forgot about the prescriptions because I answered a call from Rachel’s guitar teacher who wanted to come Wednesday instead of Tuesday. Fine, I answered, just come after 5:15 because Rachel has play rehearsal. It was all set. At 6:00, I realized the piano teacher never showed up. What the heck? I checked the text. She wants to come tomorrow, Tuesday, at 5:30. Sigh. I put dinner in the oven and remembered the prescriptions. I raced out to pick them up at the same time realizing I wouldn’t be home for the guitar teacher on Wednesday because Emily has a doctor’s appointment. Sigh.
Sadly, this is not an extraordinary day. This is every day. My weekends may as well be another week day. There is a constant round of ballet practice, soccer practice, soccer games, acting classes, religious education classes that the girls attend and I teach and the end-of-the week errands like grocery shopping, yard work, house work, and laundry. Plus I freelance quite a bit and get the bulk of it done during the weekend. And then there is the volunteer work. Good grief - the blog that’s supposed to help me stay sane is even stressing me out!
I look at my day-planner and I want to toss it out the window. ‘Cept I can’t. ‘Cause it weighs 20 pounds and would knock someone below out. This is ridiculous and I want it to stop.
So on Monday night I called a family meeting. We discussed our excessive obligations and extracurricular activities. I asked the girls to make a decision about the activities they are involved in. Decide whether they truly love the activities because, if there is the slightest doubt, we need to let them go. I will support my girls in the endeavors that they love; but those that are just so-so…well, not so much anymore.
I told them that I thought we should call a moratorium on volunteer work temporarily. I really hope that nobody whom I volunteer for reads my blog because I haven’t gotten around to announcing that bit of news yet. But I will. Because I am serious. We volunteer at a shelter for the mandatory 6 hours a month. It’s really nice and altruistic and good for the animals and for Emily; however, what about the fact that I have a mini-shelter right in my dining room? There sits two rescue dogs that we adopted and brought into our family. And while I’m walking dogs at the shelter, mine are sitting home alone. While I am doing pet laundry, my kids’ clothes overflows the hamper. While I feed the homeless and exhaust myself volunteering for one tremendously great cause after another, my refrigerator has nothing of value in it this week. And what’s more - it’s looking like that week after week. And Emily is an insulin dependent diabetic. She needs fresh, healthy food. Every single day!
So that’s it then. We are in the process of weeding out. We agreed to slow down and look at our schedules over the next several weeks and make some tough decisions as to what stays and what goes. And then we are going to enjoy our free time and use it wisely - to cook healthy meals, to garden, to exercise, to live a little.
I know a lot of women, and a few men too, who go through the same thing as us on a regular basis. And we all need to slow down, and reap the benefits of a calm, uncomplicated life. So while I am simplifying the tough things and making over our schedules and ultimately our lives, I am going to blog about my journey here. ‘Cause I’ll have the time now.