Is it possible to erase a week from memory? Okay, even I'll admit that's being too harsh. But last week I had a few "roll-up-in-a-ball -crying" moments - maybe without the actual rolling up in a ball, and without the crying. The feelings were there, though. Overwhelmed, over-tired, over-worked, over-stretched. I know you can relate, especially if you're a mother, and especially of your an LDS mother.
It started off slowly, Monday was laundry day (whoop-dee-doo) and Family Home Evening - which turned out great! You can read about THAT on my project 365 blog.
Late that night, I received a phone call from a sister in our Stake who was in charge of a missionary luncheon, but could not do it due to the passing of her mother-in-law. She would need to go to the funeral that weekend, and would not be able to do the luncheon. UNDERSTANDABLE! Who ever plans when loved ones pass away? And WHEN is service EVER convenient? Of course I said I would take over the planning of the meal, and with her help we found a couple of ladies to help. Funny thing, I discovered that I have a hard time handling stress. Shocker, I know :) I found enough help with cooking and serving the food, yet I was still full of anxiety over whether the menu I chose would work, whether I had planned enough to feed all 55 missionaries, whether or not someone else might drop out of helping, whether or not SOMETHING might go wrong SOMEWHERE. I prayed for peace concerning the matter and I did receive it, though slowly.
Tuesday was slow besides the regular tasks of making meals, driving kids to and from school, emailing, phone calls, and general this and that. Hubby had a group meeting for one of his school projects this evening so I took advantage and relaxed a bit after the kids were in bed.
Wednesday I started out with a photoshoot of a newborn (5 days old), and his mom and big brother. Turned out great! It didn't take long for the "big brother" - 2 year old "K" to become my good buddy, and baby "H" cooperated nicely. Later that afternoon, I went out to do the grocery shopping for the luncheon and then organized the food into bags ready to deliver to the ladies who would be cooking. I got a phone call from my husband who was at the hospital for a consultation for a growth he had on his foot for the past couple of years. He was calling to ask me to pick him up. Turns out, the surgeon whipped out his 'gear' and did the surgery to remove it right then and there. VERY unexpected, but we were happy that he didn't have to wait for weeks and months. He removed a large grape-sized cyst and we are now awaiting test results to be sure it isn't cancerous. Hubby couldn't walk and was in a lot of pain. We picked him up and proceeded to deliver the food to the ladies in the ward. Then we had to eat out in a rush to get back to the girls' school for "math night". We hadn't finished delivering food yet, so hubby dropped us off at the school and delivered the remaining food. It was a crazy, crazy day.
Thursday was spent baking brownies (lots) for the dessert for the luncheon, making hot fudge sauce, chopping veggies for the platters, and picking up a few last minute items. I hadn't had a chance to even look at the pics from the photo shoot yet, and I knew I had to get started editing them - but, they got pushed to the back burner. Hubby went to work, even though his foot had kept him up all night (the doctors gave him NO pain medication).
I also got an email asking me to give a talk in a couple of weeks. Sure. Why not? I'm sure I'll have plenty of time to prepare one - especially since I had suggested the topic in the first place. How could I say no?
B also lost her second tooth! She had to contribute to the excitement this week :)
Another stressful part of this week has been cleaning up after JJ. She is potty training and while she now has the "pee pee" part down pat, she hasn't *quite* grasped the... other part. Ew. Cleaning up those messes in the midst of the craziness is NO FUN!
Friday was the luncheon and it went well. The girls ALL had the day off school which meant they were all shut into the nursery room with toys and a couple of movies. I put TJ in charge and she did a pretty good job. I was at the church from about 9:30am until about 2:30pm and my feet were screaming at me. After cleaning every inch of the nursery, kitchen, hallways, everything, we left and ran some errands before heading back home. Just in time to get dinner prepared and wallow in the pigsty my house had become over the course of the week. I don't know about YOU but I can't relax if my house is messy. It eats at me like little fire ants until I get up and clean. I noticed my backdrop stand and props still out in my living room from two days before and couldn't believe I hadn't put it away yet. We won't even get into what my kitchen, bathrooms, and basement looked like. *shudder*. Hubby had a meeting for one of his group projects so I got to work doing some straightening.
Saturday my hubby was in school all day, and since there is no bus that goes directly to the university on Saturday, he took the van, leaving the rest of us home bound. We used the day at home to do our weekly cleaning jobs (which went surprisingly smoothly) and did some scrapbooking/crafting. Then, I tackled those photo shoot pictures and got them edited. My eyes were burning from staring at the computer screen, but it was worth it! It felt GREAT to have them done.
Sunday was truly my day of rest. It took everything I had to pull myself out of bed, get the kids ready, myself ready, and all of us off to church. I have the occasional Sunday where I go to church and basically feel how inadequate I am. I have several people coming up to me asking me to do this or that, how this or the other is coming long, have I completed x, y, or z yet? Can I please help with this thing or that? Or I have a lesson telling me to do more of this, or be more like that. It can drain my soul if I'm not in the right state of mind. I prayed that I could be rejuvenated this Sunday. That I could feel like I'm doing okay, that I'm not failing, and that I could rest from my labors. And that's exactly what happened.
The sacrament meeting talks were very uplifting and touching. The lessons in Sunday School and Relief Society were positive and encouraging. I felt close to the people around me, felt a kinship, felt light and joyful. The best part, though, was when different people in our congregation approached me, not to ask me to DO more, but asking how *I* was doing. One sister put her arm around me and said "I want to know how you are doing. I really appreciate all you do, and know it must feel overwhelming sometimes." ANSWER TO A PRAYER! I felt like I could cry. Other sisters complimented me on my children's behavior, other's complimented me on my hair! I mean, it sounds silly, but it was exactly what I needed that day. I came home feeling renewed and very loved. It was precisely what I needed after the week I had.
You know, now that it's a new week, I see things just a bit more clearly. I don't think, looking back, that my week was too crazy and it's strange that I would feel so overwhelmed. I wonder what makes me feel that way at the time? I feel like I'm doing what I'm asked to do - reading my scriptures, praying, serving - so why do feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and even depression sneak in? I am determined to obey the commandment to "Be of good cheer" and to find joy in my roles as a wife, mother, friend, and woman. What do you do to chase away those negative feelings and feel cheerful again? I'd love to hear your ideas!