When I’m feeling good (even reasonably good), it’s easy for me to try to do too much. I want to do it all! I don’t want to miss anything – what if I don’t get another opportunity? I feel I need to make up for all of the other things I missed this school year. Unfortunately, when I pack too many things into the calendar, I don’t often realize it until after I’ve already overdone it.
This last week has been incredibly busy and it’s caught up with me.
1. I chaperoned my daughter’s 4th grade field trip to a semi-local mission. It was an all (school) day trip and the wind was blowing, so allergies went haywire. I had a great group assigned to me and it was fun, but it makes for a long day.
2. I had my monthly pre-chemo doctor appointment – which I wrote about before. Not a big deal, but it requires coordination of schedules and a big chunk of the day. Then there’s the post-appointment anxiety – which is slightly different from the pre-appointment anxiety.
3. I attended my children’s school’s Volunteer Tea (even if I was a crap room mom, apparently I was still considered a volunteer). It was not only a tea, but the 4th and 5th graders performed songs relating to this year’s theme. They did a great job and it made me really appreciate the music teacher at the school (that’s a whole other issue going on, but alas…)
4. I took 4 kids to and 5 kids from an end of year party for a program at school that teaches kids to help peers solve problems during recess. It’s been a great experience for my daughter and many of her friends. This party was at a miniature golf venue and I played with my son and his friend while the girls were partying. I was reminded why I hate golf, but the boys had fun. Somehow my husband got assigned to the BBQ, which he didn’t mind, but vegans aren’t typically the natural choice to assign to the task of cooking 60 beef hotdogs. I was in the arcade and it took about 45 seconds for me to beg to switch jobs with him. We used lots of soap and hand sanitizer that night.
5. We woke at 5:30 AM to get to the Girls on the Run 5K. It was VERY early. All of the girls and their running buddies did a great job and had a lot of fun at the event. Our coach with a broken foot walked the race on crutches and many of the girls went back to ‘run’ her in after they finished. What a great team spirit they developed this year along with their lessons of empowerment and self-esteem! My son ran too and clearly demonstrated we have a runner in the family (finished his first 5K in 34 minutes). We need to find a running program for 6-year-old boys!
6. An after party at the pool followed the early morning 5K. Great socializing for both kids and parents alike. A great way to end the season and get them excited about doing it all again next year.
7. And finally another field trip – this time with the Kindergarten class to our beloved Happy Hollow – a San Jose institution. It involves a zoo, carnival type rides, a cheesy puppet show, and a massive playground. It was a hot and very long day. I think the kids had a great time, which is what’s important.
This all happened on top of the regular routine things – helping in the classroom, practices, gymnastics, grocery store trips, laundry… When I get exhausted, my short-term memory and my word finding get worse. My platelets are also still low, which means my energy levels were low to begin with.
While it was a lot of extra activity for me, I think the thing that made it exhausting was the social stimulation. Every one of those activities, which in and of themselves were fun and I have no regrets about any of it, required that I have conversations, monitor and engage children that were not my own, and process lots of sensory input at once. It was a great test for my limits – which have now been reached. It can be a little disconcerting to be reminded that you aren’t quite as capable of managing a chaotic schedule as you used to be. It’s easy to forget – when you’re feeling good – that you need breaks, you need some quiet time to recharge, and it’s ok to say ‘no’.
Today, I will enjoy the quiet in my house, take a walk, write, and maybe read some of my book. I won’t worry about how clean the house is and I may skip the planned grocery store trip – even though my parents are arriving for a visit today. They will love me regardless of whether I got around to making their bed.
I WILL however take my daughter to the orthodontist – since it was the one thing that got forgotten last week.