so far behind…

WARNING: whining ahead.

It’s so frustrating to feel like no matter what you can do, you can never seem to catch up.  You go ahead one step, only to realize you’re now behind two steps.  You go to bed early, only to lie awake, unable to sleep.  You have a good week, but end up getting the 24-hour stomach flu.  You try to be a good teacher, but then some parent declares her disapproval of what you’re doing.  You (finally) pick up the toys, only to have your baby proceed to take out everything you just put away.  You get a handle on the dishes, but you turn around and the sink is full again.  You wash and dry two loads of laundry, but despite your best intentions, they are still waiting to be folded three days later.  No matter what, you’re not finished yet, and it would be nice, just once, to feel that your tasks are done when the day ends.

That’s kind of how I feel right now.

I know my previous post was about how this week was almost like being on vacation in that I didn’t have to cook.  This is true.  I didn’t have to cook.  But at the same time, it wasn’t a vacation.  When you play single mom, there’s no one to back you up.  This can work out just fine and provide unique opportunities, but it can also backfire in a big way:

Curious J woke me up at 5:30am Thursday morning (after sleeping 9 hours straight, so I can’t complain too much about that).  Initially when I awoke, I thought that I was having an anxiety attack.  However, after about half an hour, I realized that something else was going on, something far more miserable than an anxiety attack.  It turned out to be the 24 hour stomach flu.  I could hardly stand up, but someone had to get up with the girls, feed them, and get Lyd off to school.  However, I didn’t want to get my girls sick, either.  In desperation I called everyone I could think of who I thought might be available to help out.  One mother of Lyd’s classmate came for an hour in the morning, got Lyd off to school and fed J breakfast.  Another good friend of mine took her own baby to a sitter so she could come and help me out for THREE WHOLE HOURS in the afternoon.  What an angel!  She even brought me soup and white soda.  She fed and played with the baby, swept my kitchen, and even drove Lyd to dance class.  I am forever in her debt.  Another friend picked JJ up from the Caltrain station, as I didn’t trust myself to drive a car, and he got home just before 7pm to find a wife prostrate on the couch with two girls happily playing on the floor (not sure what I did to deserve that or how I made that happen.  I don’t remember.)  Thank God for friends!  I could NOT have made it through the day without them.

I’m also thanking God that it seems no one else caught my stomach flu.  I am SO VERY grateful for that, and I attribute it to the fact that I could stay in bed while other people helped do important things with my kids.  But now I am so desperately tired.  Two days later, my stomach continues to feel “off,” and life has resumed it’s seemingly breakneck pace.  Having been gone all week, JJ has had to cram a week’s worth of work into two days.  Add to that a sick wife and his daughter’s fifth birthday party, and he’s seriously burning the candle at both ends, too.  Our relationship has almost been on hold for a number of weeks now due to his writing work and flying hither and yon.  But despite projects being completed and trips being finished, things just don’t seem to be slowing down, and I’m worried that he is going to crash and burn soon.

We both really need a vacation, and more than just a vacation from cooking.  This is one of those times that I really wish we lived closer to family.  Sigh.

But, I want to be thankful and grateful, because there are things to be thankful and grateful for.  Curious J slept 12 hours straight TWICE this week!  Another night she slept 10 hours, and another night 9 hours!  This is unheard of!  Her change of attitude and demeanor is practically 180 degrees.  I am so grateful to my chiropractor for his help.  She has renewed energy and enthusiasm for life, and this morning, as JJ and I blearily watched her, we couldn’t help but laugh at her crazy antics as she tore a path from the kitchen to the toy room and back again.  JJ called her the little Tazmanian devil due to how fast she was moving and the sounds she was making.  She truly is a joy, and we’re both so thankful that she’s feeling better.

And Lyd, my big five year old girl.  She’s doing so well, too, and I’m so proud of her.  I just wish I had more energy to devote to her requests for me to play with her.  She’s napping right now, since she never got a nap in all week, but Curious J is already up from her nap, up and rarin’ to go!  Lyd is such a dear, and I am so thankful for her smiles and cheerfulness and happiness, even at her simple birthday party yesterday.

Plus, both of our cars are running perfectly, the price of gas is going down, all my appliances are working, my kitchen floor is mopped and shining, and my fridge, freezer, and cupboards are full of food.  There is much to be thankful for.  But I am still SO tired, and there seems to be no end in sight to the tasks at hand, no promise of a real break for JJ and I anytime soon.

Worst of all, being in this state is really making my anxiety problems flare back up, and that makes it doubly hard to try to get sleep and focus on one thing at a time.

A saying was taped to my locker in high school, was carried with me to college, and resides on my fridge now.  It has a picture of a disgruntled Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes) and says, “God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things.  Right now I am so far behind, I will never die.”

Yup.  Not finished yet.  That’s me.

But I am still so thankful to have heaven to look forward to.  Eternal rest!  Sounds good to me!

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a birthday party

Despite losing a whole day to the stomach flu on Thursday, we went ahead with Lyd’s birthday party on Friday.  How could we not?  She had literally been counting down the days to it all week, exclaiming over and over how she couldn’t WAIT for her party, even pretending that she was still four years old until her party day arrived.  Add to that the fact that a big birthday cake-shaped bouncy house was ordered and it was too late to cancel.

So, I figuratively “sucked it up,” and plowed ahead getting things ready for the party, which started after school let out at 3:30.  I scaled it down, deciding not to provide supper for the grownups, but I managed to make Lydia’s cake and frosting from scratch, frost it myself, and even use the leftover frosting from her cupcakes to ice the cake and write “Happy Birthday” on it without turning it into a disaster.  To be honest, I was going to make a boxed cake mix, but I didn’t have the one she wanted, and I found a simple recipe that made making it from scratch almost as easy.

The party itself went well.  Lyd had wanted to invite the whole school – all 12 kids – so we said “yes.”  Besides providing the bouncy house, cake, and ice cream, I also put out a few snacks and juice for the kids.  A few other non-school friends came over, too.  The kids enjoyed the cake, the bouncy house, and Lyd’s big box of sidewalk chalk, which the kids used to fully decorate our front patio.  Lyd had a blast, and she enjoyed her party thoroughly.  I was still somewhat staggering around, but it was nice to have a chance to visit a bit with some other parents.  Most of all, I was glad for her sake that we were able to make the party happen, as I knew that Lyd would have been so devastated if we’d had to postpone/cancel it.

She’s officially five years old now – full steam ahead to six!  🙂