Thursday, March 22, 2012
Nothing Looks the Same in the Light
Over the previous week, both boys came down with the stomach bug, separately. Each time, we quarantined them to our room for a couple of days, to try to keep the cooties from spreading (- our room has a TV for them to watch during their confinement). Each time, Hubby and I slept on the couch and loveseat in the living room. I think we slept in bed three days out of that week.
Over the weekend, I barely saw hide nor hair of Hubby on Saturday, due to scheduled commitments (his). Sunday, the same thing, due to a planned outing (mine).
Then, on Monday, Hubby came down with the stomach bug. That same day C, our oldest, had piggy-backing commitments and I got the Evil Look of Death from the activity leader when explaining that C would have to leave a half hour early to get to basketball practice. After picking him up from the second commitment, it was past both boys' bedtimes, C still had to eat dinner and finish homework, our younger son, E, wanted his nightly bedtime story and was sad to tears that his daddy was sick. After I'd gotten E squared away, C still had to study for a test, was frantic that he had misplaced a textbook and was upset that the activity leader was spiteful to him in front of the rest of the group.
After everyone was finally in bed, I sat down and (NO, I did not cry...) gave myself a quick SIT(uation)REP(ort): I was missing spending time with my now-out-of-commission hubby, both kids had gone to bed in low spirits, I was mad at the activity leader for being a jerk, there was a sink full of dishes, the living room was tornado-ed and I was going to be sleeping on the couch again, but this time alone.
Situation: bleak. Outlook: same. Possible solutions: no optimism left to think of any. I desperately wanted to do something to make myself feel better. I contemplated writing an email to the activity leader, but I couldn't even think of how to word it without being hostile. I half-contemplated cleaning up the kitchen and living room out of a sense of duty, but the thought made me crankier. Some sadistic part of my brain started thinking about the other 4 dozen things that would need to be addressed in the coming days, and that's when I had to shut it down. The more I sat there and thought about things - ANY things - the worse it all seemed. The only alternative: sleep it off. I dimmed the lights, grabbed my blanket, curled up on couch and escaped into the relief of unconsciousness.
In the morning, circumstances hadn't really changed, but guess what had? Yup - my whole attitude and outlook. Even before I sat up, I realized I was feeling better. I was glad I hadn't spent an hour on housework the night before. The extra z's I'd gotten by going to bed instead had re-energized me. I was glad I hadn't fired off an angry email to the activity leader. Now that my head had cleared, I was able to put some perspective to the situation and think of better ways to deal with it. Plus, having gotten familiar with the pattern of our stomach bug, I knew that Hubby would be feeling better and able to participate in the day's comings and goings. Things were definitely looking up!
My final thought, before I got up from my couch-bed, was that I'd gained some new wisdom to impart to my kids someday: decisions are better made in the light of a new day than in the dark of a long night. And with that, I set out to make sure their days got off to a great start, too.