What do you do to salvage a day when it seems to have been a write off?
I had one of those days today. By the time I was finished with work I was convinced that I needed to come home, climb into bed, forget the day and just hope for a better day tomorrow.
When Iw as finished with a hellacious day of work I had one errand to run in town. Yesterday we went to a metal fabrication place and asked them if they could make us a new piece for our garden swing. Somehow over the winter we lost a hook for the swing and couldn't find a replacement anywhere. They said they could make it for us and that they would call when it was done. This afternoon I got the call that the piece was finished.I thought I would stop in and pick it up and surprise Shel by hooking the swing up tonight. So I stopped in and got it and they gave it to me free of charge. I thanked them and told them how much I appreciated it. I really was grateful for that small act of kindness and I got back into the van I wondered if this small act of kindness had maybe started to turn the tide of negativity that until this point seemed to have overwhelmed my day.
I got home and hung the swing before I even went inside, hoping it would be a nice surprise for Shel - nicer than just having me home from work!
But when I made it inside Shel had some more bad news for me and I had to remind her that tomorrow I work a double shift (meaning that she has the boys alone until after midnight).The day seems to be stuck in this vortex of negativity.
I went and sat with the boys on the swing while Shel started dinner. I sat and looked around at how perfect everything appeared to be. The sun was shining, the boys were playing together nicely, we were enoying one anothers company. The dogs were laying close by and supper was on the stove. I couldn't help but wonder how my whole world disintegrates around me when on the surface nothing changes at all. It's as though I am living two lives. I'm looking at the exterior of my life, thinking that nothing "looks" wrong, all the time wondering how thin the veneer of normalcy really is. How close would someone have to look to see that all is not well? How are Shel and I holding it all together? How do we get up and keep doing this day after day - and how long can we keep doing it until something cracks?
I thought I needed to do something to change the momentum of the day. I just couldn't be "in" it any longer.
I came into the house and took a shower and shaved my armpits. (You wouldn't think this small act could change anything, but then you have no idea how long it has been since I shaved my armpits!) After I got out of the shower I hoped that in addition to a cleaner body, maybe the act of moving might be enough to change the energy sucking vortex I was in.
We fed the boys but I still felt like I needed to get the boys into bed so I could write off the day and head to bed myself. I use sleep as an escape (I know). Unfortunately there are not enough hours in the day for me to sleep all our problems into oblivion.
The boys didn't want to come inside after supper and I was frustrated. I went outside with the intent on dragging their dirty little boy bodies inside and into the tub. When I couldn't find them in the sand pile or on the playset and I realized they were in the quonset I was mad and went storming after their busy little bodies. I went tearing into the quonset ready to ........ ( I don't know what I was ready to do. Count to ten? Haul boys inside? I'm not sure.)
Max was putting together his kite. He asked me to help him - and what could I do but join in?
We spent the next hour flying our kites.
I came in and got a kite for Cael and even got my own kite out.
Kite flying heals the soul.
It doesn't pay bills. It doesn't meet deadlines. It doesn't change the fact I have to work a double shift and massively inconvenience my spouse and my kids.
It makes the boys smile and laugh. It thrills them. It connects us to the wind, connects us to something so much bigger than we are. It makes me BREATHE.
Flying kites with my sons salvaged my day.