Sunday, May 22, 2011

If There's One Thing In My Life That's Missing...

Over a month since my last post. I HAVE made a couple of attempts, but the final draft never surfaced. I could say I have been busy or distracted or just blank. But perhaps it would be enough to just say, "It's May!" The end-of-year craziness has never hit me before in the way it has hit this month... and I have even had my husband home to help. [He resigned from his job at the end of March and our search continues.]

Last week was particularly crazy. At the beginning of the week I received an email offering me a discount on a retreat that was to take place at the end of the week. I had really wanted to attend the retreat, but had several reasons to reconsider:

1. Nursing baby

2. A Mother/Daughter Activity for 15 moms and 15 daughters that I had committed to host at my home on Friday afternoon

3. The Scout campout on Friday night that my 12-year old son and his dad were planning to enjoy together

4. A family game night that I had RSVP-ed for on Saturday night

5. The 300-mile trip to get to the retreat

6. My paper route

7. Six children, including the nursing baby, the daughter participating in the aforementioned activity, and the Scout, that needed to be cared and accounted for

Yes, I had plenty of reasons NOT to go.

In fact, the only reason I had for GOING was the realization that I needed it. Badly. I was long overdue for some time away. I knew this and yet the hurdles seemed insurmountable.

Finally, I decided that if I waited for a time when it was convenient or that there was nothing going on, I might NEVER EVER get away. That was Wednesday night. I had started feeling compelled to attend this retreat and I couldn't shake the feeling.

That night I said a prayer: "Help me find a way to make this happen or dismiss it from my mind."

Thursday morning I awoke with a plan. First I responded to the email about the retreat to make sure there was still room for me to attend. Then I waited all day for a response. That was maddening as I was unable to really move forward on anything else until I knew.

Thursday evening I received a confirmation email, and my plan went into motion.

Child #1 would go on the campout with his dad. Child #2 would travel with me along with Child #5 and Child #6 to help keep them happy on the drive up to my sister's home where they would spend all day Saturday while I attended the retreat. Child #3 and Child #4 would spend the night at their grandparents until their dad could pick them up for their final soccer games and the Primary activity on Saturday morning. My husband would somehow cover the paper route. Easy enough, right?

Friday was CRAZY. In a word. Wake up. Deliver papers. Spin class. Laundry. Clean house. Carpool. More laundry. Make lunch. Clean disgusting (gross understatement) bathroom. Make cookies for Mother/Daughter Activity. Confirm plans for Mud Run for Girls Camp in two weeks. More laundry. Almost forget carpool. Pack. Mother/Daughter Activity. Load van. Drop Child #3 and Child #4 at grandparents' house. Scarf ham sandwiches graciously made by said grandparents. Leave St. George at 7:00 PM. Arrive at sister's house at 10:30 or so. Get children settled into portable cribs and couch. Collapse into sleep after being awake and moving at full speed for 20 hours.

Saturday started at 5:30 AM and ended at midnight. The retreat was fabulous, but by the end of the day I was completely spent. I felt like someone had completely wrung me out. I have yet to know why I felt so compelled to go. I probably sacrificed brain cells to sleep deprivation. (A day asleep in a hotel room might have served me just as well.)

On the other hand, my sister LOVED having three of my children for a day (She uses pictures of Child #5 and Child #6 as her screen savers), and my children seemed to enjoy being with their cousins--as well as my sister, of course. The grandparents seemed to enjoy having time with just two of our brood. Father and son survived campout.