It’s that spooky time of year when pumpkins adorn doorsteps and zombies float in the trees above neighbor’s lawns. Cooler mornings and chilly nights taunt as darkness increases. There seems to be less time to get things done and more things to do. I feel like I can’t catch up and some imminent calamity will occur if I don’t get myself unburied from my to-do list.
I look like a zombie, and I feel like one, too.
I have a week-long hacking cough, dark circles under my eyes, a tangled no-time-to wash hair-do, and somewhat furry legs. Seriously, shaving my legs is the least of my concerns right now. Life’s expectations are too monstrous.
October began with my back going kerplewy, which left me and my kids in an off-track state of mind. Whenever I am not completely engaged and connected with my boys – like the instant I answer the phone or start fixing dinner, for example – my children lose their minds and start acting like they’re under the spell of some misguided mad scientist who makes them whine and raise their voices and hurt each other. I hear this phenomenon is common among mothers of small beings.
The rest of this month whizzed by. It included my father’s unexpected passing, sudden family travel, medical appointments, non-stop schedule juggling (especially when Raphael’s babysitter left for her honeymoon), and now a miserable cough, which may actually be giving me a kick start to toning my abs. I have that post-crunch pain in my gut from tightening my stomach muscles every time I choke up a gob of phlegm.
Yay for the silver lining!
I know getting a virus means I’m not taking enough care of myself. (Duh!) It’s the body’s way to say “Slow the F— down.”
But I can’t. The pace I keep is so lightning fast and my days are so packed that letting more things go only exacerbates the pile-up the next day. I get help where I can. I leave the floor unwashed for weeks. But there has just been too much on my plate for a long time now. Too many challenging things keep happening.
One day last year, I woke up, slowly rolled to face my husband, and uttered a single word: “relentless.”
Life still is. And I’m trying to come to terms with the idea that this ride will never stop. This is the way it is for us. This IS our ever after.
So why can’t I stop hoping to touch ground and find enough time to breathe?
I guess a zombie doesn’t need to breathe. Or perhaps, she really, really wants to, which is why she keeps returning to the land of the living to grab hold of whatever life she can and make it matter.
Which is why I’ll be hanging our own Halloween decorations later, finishing the kids’ costumes, and stopping at the library to pick up the first Harry Potter book that Elijah’s been begging for. My children matter.
It all does.