I don't love weeks like this. It's been one of frantic preparation, excitement for an upcoming adventure, insanely busy schedules, frustrating drama, too much impulsive and aimless running around, sprinkled with some quiet, peaceful moments.
I am ridiculous when I try to prepare for anything other than the usual routine. I know how to plan for a week with Craig on the road. I know how to prepare for meals, carpools, and the usual stuff that occurs in a week around here with four busy kids. I can keep up with my usual "one thing a day" that I commit to and still throw in an impromptu lunch with a friend and not be completely derailed. But something about packing and leaving, and changing my routine, makes everything in me feel anxious and resistant.
Downstairs there are no less than ten lists in various stages of completion. I have a pile of clothes that are all Spring Break possibilities, none of which I've been able to commit to yet. I have other piles of miscellaneous things strewn all over the dining room table. And I have 6 large duffel bags that have been staring at me all week, that I have chosen to ignore.
On Monday, I took Craig to the airport, went to Institute, and had lunch with a friend who I haven't connected with in months. There was an emotional email to address when I got home, an unexpected shift for Savannah to pick up at work, and a short term drama project for Emma to help with after school. There was no way packing was going to happen that day.
Tuesday, I got up early and carved out three whole hours to prepare a seminary lesson because I was substituting on Wednesday. I loved that three hours. It was productive and meaningful, and I left my desk feeling empowered and confident that I would be able to teach that lesson. And then...lunch with Amy, a pedicure place that was closed for remodeling, an impromptu shift to Plan B, which turned out to be a horrible idea. After being stuck for too long in a place I did not want to be, crying a little over the worst pedicure I have ever gotten in my life, rushing around to pick up kids, and then coming home to more aftershock from Monday's email, all of my confidence had completely flown out the window. At 9:00pm, I was curled up in bed surrounded by all of my scriptures, notes and manuals, trying to recreate that feeling I had had in the morning. It was impossible. At 10:00pm, I gave in to a fitful night's sleep.
Wednesday morning, I miraculously woke up on time for seminary, even though I had convinced myself that I would sleep through my alarm and have to teach that class in my jammies. It probably helped that I had been up every hour checking the clock to make sure it wasn't 5:00am yet. Teaching seminary is an entirely different experience than teaching Sunday School. The kids are less lively because they're not fully awake, so instead of facilitating a discussion, it feels more like jumping up and down to keep them engaged. It wasn't a stellar lesson, but I got through it and hopefully some of us learned something. There were two delightful boys in there (who happen to also be in my Sunday School class) who helped me keep track of time, took care of all the logistical details, and jumped in to save me during that awkward silence that comes when you throw out a thought-provoking question to teenagers at 6:15 in the morning. I was relieved when it was over. And filled with a greater appreciation for the men and women who get up EVERY weekday morning and do that. I have no idea how they manage their lives. I should have come home and taken a nap after the kids left for school, but instead, I prepared a Cub Scout activity for that afternoon, and then hopped over to the hair salon for an impromptu trim before our trip. The impromptu things that I have tried to throw into my schedule this week have not been a huge success. McKay and I had Cub Scouts that afternoon. Emma had her drama thing until 6:00. The girls had YW activities that night. Craig's flight arrived sandwiched right in between dropping girls off and picking them back up 90 minutes later. Packing did not happen on Wednesday night either.
Thursday morning is my weekly Temple Day. But I was so anxious about the lists and the bags being ignored that I almost talked myself out of going. I went anyway. I threw on a dress, pulled my very odd haircut into a pony, and went to the Temple. There's something amazing about that place. It's not speedy. You can't just run in and then run back out and get on with your day. But after a couple of peaceful hours there being totally quiet, reflecting on higher things, and putting Spring Break back into perspective, I left feeling less frazzled, more relaxed about the upcoming week, and better about the way I looked. My hair isn't THAT bad. And my toes aren't THAT bad either...unless you get up close which I refused to do yesterday. The Temple makes you prettier. Who knew?
And now it's Friday. In an hour, I'm meeting my neighbors for our monthly lunch date, to get the scoop on their Spring Break plans, and to make arrangements for house watching. The girls are going to my regular pedicure place, which has now finished re-tiling their floors, to get the pedicures that I was too impatient to wait for. A fish will be deposited at a loving sitter's home for the week. Bags will be packed. And everything on all of those lists downstairs will be checked off. Hopefully.
Tomorrow morning, we will be piling kids and stuff into a van and heading out on an adventure we've been planning for months. My head still hasn't thoroughly accepted the fact that we are even going on a cruise, and that somehow on Sunday morning when all 13 of us board that ship, this week's frantic chaos will disappear. I'm sure it will, though. Because once things are underway, and I am enjoying a sunny week with my family and our dear friends on a beautiful boat in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, it won't matter that I got an emotional email on Monday, that my toes aren't perfect, or that my hair is shorter than I intended. It will just be a week full of amazing memories with people I love.