Several years ago I watched an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. I was annoyed when she said she cracked and that she cracked as far as she was able. While I wanted to resent her for cracking, she admitted that the women in her family before her weren’t allowed to crack or crack as much as she did. So I was more annoyed that she was able to crack and run off and have this fabulous adventure. I could never crack like that. I’m too responsible. Even when I was a teenager with bags packed, ready to run, I couldn’t because I had a babysitting gig on Friday and a lab partner who needed my help on Wednesday and a set to build and a shop to organize and chores to do and and and.
But I think I cracked this last month. I had five weeks without school. Aidan was in school two mornings a week. I had two weekends without the boys. But I didn’t open my history books. I didn’t watch any history lectures. I didn’t write much in the blog. I didn’t work on any stories or articles. I didn’t sew any dresses. I didn’t finish my Cub Scout leader training. I didn’t read blogs. There was so much I could’ve done.
Like I mentioned before, there are reasons I didn’t run on full steam in a million different directions as usual. I’m tangled in a divorce turning nasty. The boys’ father finally took some custody. A friend was murdered. My cousin and grandma were hospitalized. My mom is crazy. My financial situation has turned very chaotic. The boys have been sick at one time or another. It’s been a crazy five weeks.
Like any pessimist, I focus on what I didn’t do.
But I’m honest with myself. So instead of kicking myself (much), I’ll remember what I did do. I organized the garage, under the sink, the office, and the laundry room. I scrubbed under the fridge and the oven. I made a jack-o-lantern costume and a dragon costume. I made my mom some pretty cool birthday gifts. I comforted friends and volunteered for picture day for Aidan’s class. I watched a friend’s daughter several times. I helped Evan with a book report, building a board game, writing a speech, and working on his second sacrament. I worked on Cub Scout stuff with both boys. I started planning a yard sale (God, help me). I tried out new recipes. The boys and I made ninja cookies and had movie nights. I reread on of my favorite series of epics. I started meditating.
So maybe I should forgive myself for cracking a little and taking a break.
Because school starts back up Wednesday, and I’ll have to do observations again. And next week I have two field trips I’m driving for. I have a yard sale to plan and deal with. I have to declutter the house. I have a friend coming in for the weekend. Evan has a huge report to do on the Blackfoot tribe and First Reconciliation to prepare for. There’s Cub Scout stuff and Christmas to prepare for. There’s the temporary financial hearing this week. There’s recipes to try and crafts to make and a history test to prep for and Cub Scout leadership training. Oh and stories to write and posts to write and blogs to read.
I have no time to mourn my cracking.