I walked by my closed laptop all week long. That never happens. I am normally obsessed with checking on emails and our website stats but this week, my computer sat idle.
I wanted to write and thought about plenty of blog topics to craft as the week unfolded but alas – no words, no action.
My vacuum and dust cloth took precedent. The house look disheveled and needed attention. Everything was falling apart, which frankly, should have been no surprise after a brutal winter of weather and avoidance.
I had scheduled the painter to fix up the peeling deck. The paint job turned into a rebuild of rot. While the crew worked outside, the carpet guys worked inside to replace the 20 year old hall carpet. Ka-ching — Ka-ching!
New carpet, revived deck — I could feel the outflow of cash and the inflow of renewal.
The shopping began on Monday to prepare for the 18-person Friday dinner and I filled 2 refrigerators. LUG—LUG! Ka-ching – Ka-ching!
The bedding was hauled out and needed to be freshened up. In a few days every bed would be filled and the new air mattress pumped and even the living room couch would become a mattress for my 6 foot 4 inch nephew.
The ground outside still looked cold and brown but the sun was beginning to shine through the filthy spotted windows. I hauled rusty ski equipment, old golf clubs and electronics to the street corner. I attacked the junk pile in the basement, moved furniture from room to room and filled vases with fresh flowers.
The days passed. I was lucky to sleep six hours each night, managed to walk my dog 10,000 steps only to immediately head back to more chores. I was beginning to see the light by day 3 and my house was starting to look fresh and alive.
The new carpet – the shiny stained deck – the investment was worth it. Spring was breaking through beyond my bank account.
Then the 4th morning arrived – the day before the dinner. I didn’t have time to walk my doggie. She must have gotten into something. She threw up on the new rug – again and again. She felt better but the rug didn’t – a monster stain.
I opened the fridge, pulled out the chicken and made a marinade for it. As I replaced it I noticed the service light blinking – 51 degrees. Whoah! That’s not right! I googled to see if I could use that chicken – NOPE! After 2 hours, raw poultry cannot be used if the temperature is above 40 degrees. Sayonara chicken breasts.
How about my defrosting fish? Unsure if the stinking fish was the “natural” odor of carp, I made the fish recipe anyway hoping the baking process would remedy the problem. Nope, out of the oven came that smelly fish. I could barely look at it so I threw it out.
I was on count down – the dinner would be in 24 hours. I called the Sub Zero service guys. They showed later that day – miraculously. They filled my 12 year old fridge with Freon and to my surprise — it worked. Ka-ching – Ka-ching!
I ran to the grocery store to restock and start again. My sister arrived that night. We cooked and cooked and cooked. And, somehow, the meal began to take shape.
The throngs arrived. The table looked great. The night was magical despite one subpar course of under-marinated and overcooked chicken and a missing fish course. My chicken soup and brisket carried the night.
I wanted to write my blog before the weekend but there was no time – fixing, re-shopping, cooking, and hosting – I couldn’t get to my computer.
And then Sunday – the quiet day – the perfect day to write arrived but I couldn’t get off the couch. I couldn’t type a word. I closed the computer and decided after 3 years of writing every week – I would give myself permission not to. I felt badly about it but I had to give in – no juice was left in my engine.
The kids were still there – it was a Sunday with family and a rare occurrence. My kids would all leave later. We tucked in together all day. We worked on our 1,000 piece puzzle – the BA50 puzzle my partner Ronna gifted me. We ate left overs for lunch, puzzled some more, watched Tennis and old videos. We lounged and lounged and the dog got no walk. My mom came over – I put together a dinner of more left overs – it was cozy and easy. I felt good, full, and giving into exhaustion felt quite frankly, luxurious. And that was the best part.
Luxuriating in exhaustion for an entire day. That must have been what Sundays were supposed to be about. Day 7, the day of rest – this was the dreamiest part of the entire week.
I dragged myself to bed after kissing the boys goodbye. It was only 9 pm. I was content despite my procrastination – I had not written a word. But, when I woke after a solid 9 hours of sleep I bounced out of bed and grabbed my laptop and started to write.
Here’s what I learned this week.
I never give myself permission to stop. If something is broken I fix it. If the dishes are piled up in the sink – there will be no sleeping until order has been restored.. If my kids need me even now, as grown ups – they come first – every one in my family does. I sleep when I know my loved ones are safe and tucked in no matter where I am.
I don’t have much of an opportunity to play the Mom role these days, now that my kids are young adults, have their own homes and relationships. So when they show up and we can momentarily recreate the family home together — I am 100 percent there.
Exhaustion is the sweet reward.