This was one of those weeks. On Monday, I got sick and it hit me hard and fast and it didn't take me long to realise it was strep throat. It always knocks me out totally and I spent Tuesday and Wednesday in bed. We had arranged for the kids to go to work with us on Thursday - since I teach kindergarten and LB is in kindergarten and Dh teaches grade 2 and Pk is in grade 2, our principals agreed to let us bring them in for the day. We had been looking forward to it for a long time. Thursday morning during breakfast, Lb came down with yucky symptoms that you don't need described that made it plain that our day of plans was done and it ended up that Dh had to stay home with a sickie and Pk and I went to our respective schools. Friday was the day before our March Break and just before leaving work to begin my week off, I ended up with in very uncomfortable meeting that involved being hung out to dry in a meeting by colleagues when it was supposed to be our working together to solve a problem with a situation that was completely beyond my control. My one saving grace was the fact that we were getting away to visit my husband's family and the mere fact of not having to cook for a few days and having a change of scenery was making me feel as if I might, just might, make it through.
We got there o.k. and yesterday was a good day until during dinner with friends, when it started to become clear that Pk was coming down with something. After a night of her crying, throwing up on my bed and being restless all night (and there is little worse that dealing with a sick child in a small house that is not your own with no idea where the paper towel and change of sheets are and trying not to wake everyone), this morning, we packed up the car and came home with our tails between our legs, afraid that we had unknowingly infected my f.i.l. with illness when he is dealing with auto-immune issues. By the time we got home, I was exhausted, frustrated, feeling a bit like the universe was conspiring against me and close to a pity party but only too tired to indulge too heavily in feeling sorry for myself. So much for a nice change of scenery - instead, I was back in my messy house with my m.i.l.'s kindly intended but frustrating words, "I worry about you because you do so much and you have such a heavy job and I see you trying to keep a house like s.i.l. does and you just can't expect that. I wish I was closer so I could come and help you." All I could see was dust and frustration.
I don't pretend to being mature enough to consciously move past my self-pity and frustration but somehow, it happened. I decided that cleaning was going to have to be the order of the day for my sanity and I thought that tackling my room, the one room not overwhelmingly dominated by children's mess, might be a good plan. Dh and I decided that we were going to go all the way and clean out clothing for a Salvation Army run tomorrow. It ended up being a lovely trip down memory lane. I remember, when I was young, that once in a while, my mom would decide to organize and my favourite part was when she decided to clean out her drawers. Her top drawer was always the most fun - that was her catch-all drawer and it contained things like family jewelry and old photographs. Before you get too excited, there is nothing there of anything other than sentimental value (pragmatic minister's wives that they were, you spent money on things like dishes that would be used by company and not on jewelry) but still, as I started my dresser, it brought back those memories and before I knew it, Pk was asking me questions about things like my grandmother's cameos and the bracelet that still has the note that went with it when my great, great aunt, who was a teacher in a small town one room school, that was presented to her by her students in 1909. I rediscovered some clothing that I forgot I had and actually liked (and even a few pieces that might fit - getting ready for spring with some healthy eating and lots of exercise is definitely in order). I feel like I am going back to work next week having met myself, just a little bit, in the frustration and the exhaustion and that maybe, just maybe, I might be able to create a bit of order in the chaos that will bring me comfort.
I'm a homebody at the end of the day and sometimes life throws me these times when I have to stay home and then, I remember that I kind of like it here. Just remind me I said that when I start trying to create some order in the chaos that is our rec room tomorrow morning!