I can’t even begin to describe this week. You know, sometimes we have weeks that are calm and smooth and everything goes as planned aaaand sometimes we don’t . They are crazy and chaotic, and then there are these rare ones that don’t’ even fit in chaotic. Like, you past chaotic a few days ago cuz they are just plain nuts.
Do you know what I’m talking about; we can’t catch our breath. We can’t add one more thing. Life can’t possibly move any faster!
Sometimes we react by complaining to anyone who will listen, other times we simply laugh at the insanity of it all…
So, here is a peek into my so-called- crazy life. My hope is not to puff myself up or present to you a martyr, but rather that you might be encouraged-encouraged, dear sisters, that when you have those weeks that leave you speechless or you feel like you can not simply go on, you are not alone.
I started off my Tuesday extra early because it was my little one’s birthday. Streamers and a banner went up late the night before and the famous boots were wrapped. I remember thinking to myself as I crawled into bed, this is going to be a long week. Never a good thought to have on a Monday night.
She asked for Nutella and strawberry-filled crepes with whipcream on top. Now, in our house Nutella is up there with See’s candy. I mean Alex’s baby doll is named Tella which tells you how prized the Costco-sized bottle of chocolate goodness is in our home.
Crepes on a school morning is a far cry from our usual toasted bagel in the car. I mean, my kids think it’s a good morning when I actually remember to put cream cheese on the bagel.
Alex piped up, asking, “Mom, can we do this every morning. Crepes. Please, mom.” Oh babe, if I did it every day it would lose how special it is. Ya know, parents, sometimes we surprise ourselves when we come up with something that good. I mean, it’s rare, but it does happen. Alex had a perplexed look on her face as if she was thinking, ‘I know there is something terribly wrong with that logic, but I can’t put my finger on it.’
So off they went to school. I knew my day was going to be a little nuts. I had an all day training down in San Diego on Wednesday, so I had to switch my clients from Wednesday to Tuesday, which meant I was running around with my head cut off from 8am until 10:30 that night. Class. Client. Leading a group. Quick 30 minute coffee with a friend to catch up. I don’t think I ever have talked so fast… and off I went again. Client. Two more hours of lecture. Two clients back to back. Checking in with the kids and meeting for a quick coffee and prayer, because we do this to ourselves. Oh an extra 20 minutes, sure,I would love to meet. With all my craziness, I’m pretty sure no solid good was digested. I was running on coffees, lattes and mushy powerbars here and there. Not good. Definitely not good on the brain. I finished off the night with another client, facilitating a group on forgiveness and spent an hour with my supervisor.
That’s it-my brain is dead. I’m totally fried. I couldn’t think.
I crawled into bed, knowing that I really really, like desperately needed a shower, but I didn’t have the energy to stand. Funny how we get all dramatic when we are tired, like I really couldn’t stand.
Knowing I could squeeze one in the morning before I left, I passed out before pulling the covers up over me.
I awoke abruptly the next morning. Ahhhhhh
In my delirium from the previous evening I set my alarm for the wrong time. I had no time for a shower. I threw my clothes on, brushed my teeth (at least I remembered that), and ran out of the house barefoot. No shower. No hair brushed. No shoes. I looked like a wild woman- a very tired- messy wild woman. I will pull myself together on the drive down… I encouraged myself on.
It was a two and a half hour drive down, which was total bliss. 150 precious minutes of nothingness. Quiet. I love quiet. I had so few thoughts. It was like my brain just vegged out. It was beautiful. I even checked myself a few times. Yeah, I’ve got nothing. No thoughts in their today, just crickets. Beautiful crickets.
And then I sat and sat and sat some more. Six hours of lectures on how to work with clients with complex trauma- the worst of the worst. This is my passion, but six hours. If my brain was overloaded before it was now in a state of shock. Four o’clock rolled around and I was numb.
I remember thinking to myself, I did it. I pulled it off. The classes. The clients. The coffees. The kids. The training. Look at me go.
And right about when a little cockiness was starting to set in, texts appeared on my phone. Now, I had arranged for my kids to be picked up and stay the night with my sister and sister-law. Instructions and details were given out. My bases were covered… except one thing. One tiny little thing.
“Hey, I don’t see Jake’s toothbrush,” one text read.
“Where are the girls clothes,” read another.
“Did he bring an extra bag,”
And then it hit me… oh my gosh, I SENT THEM WITH NOTHING. No clothes. No toothbrush. No underwear. Nothing. I mean, honestly, how did I forget this. Like, seriously, I forgot everything!
And in a split second I went from totally rocking’ it and having my act together to acknowledging the biggest parent foul ever- like EVER.
It’s a good thing I just learned a bunch of techniques that could calm me down. Focus on your breathing, Alisa. Think of a quiet place that is calm and soothing. Think of the beach… the waves rolling in. THIS ISN’T WORKING. MY KIDS HAVE NOTHING!!!
So, I eventually texted them back. Totally embarrassed. Totally.
I took the two-hour drive up to Orange County, where I was going to meet my guy for dinner, to think about how in carnations I flubbed up this big.
I was thrilled to end my day with John, but honestly, I had nothing to give. Now, in hind sight, dear sisters, I would strongly recommend that when we are this burnt out- like toast- we either bring a friend with us or take a rain check, because my filter was just gone and I was delirious.
I went on and on about how I found this gal who could color hair really cheap until I was starting to get annoyed hearing myself talk about it. Like, shut up, already, I even mentioned that I really needed to take a shower. Oh, yeah. I actually said it, like out loud. See, that what happens dear sisters when we get tired; we say things we NEVER would say, but he took it with stride. He was as sweet and gentle as always, kissing my nose and telling me how he loved spending time with me.
I drove home that night counting the minutes until I could hit the shower and climb into bed. I wish I could say the next day was easier, but it wasn’t. What, can I say…. it’s just one of those weeks. I have fallen asleep with my clothes on. I have thrown up my hands. I have had moments of tears and bouts of laughter. I have raced and I have run. I have failed miserably and totally nailed it. I have grabbed little faces and planted big kisses. It’s been a lot of life… life.
But here is what I have learned, dear sisters, that although this week is not one I hope to have again anytime soon, no one died. The kids would survive. The guy would hang in there with all my shenanigans. I would get my shower-eventually- and life would continue on.
You see, dear sisters, it’ s not about doing it perfectly. It’s about having grace to cruise on the downhills and work our butts off on the uphills. I guess that is what I keep working towards, learning how to navigate these mountains in life with grace and love for others, for my babies and for myself.