Thursday, March 22, 2012

Nothing Looks the Same in the Light

A crappy week's worth of crappy crap came to a head one recent night. The quick rundown:

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.

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