I get nauseated when I get too tired.
It's like a built-in early warning system to alert me that my body is being overtaxed and is slowly starting to shut down from exhaustion.
"This is a test of the exhaustion broadcast system. This is only a test. If you had actually been tired, you would be throwing up now. We now return you to your regularly scheduled life."
I started feeling green around the edges late Wednesday night, "Danger, Will Robinson!", but there was no help for it. Despite the flashing lights and warning beeps and waves of sickness rolling in, there was no way or place to stop. And so by the time I woke up this morning the fog of nausea was so thick and heavy, I briefly considered taking a pregnancy test. Danger! Danger!
Then I remembered.
It has just been a very long week.
And I wanted to lay right back down, but I am chaperoning Caleb at his regional music festival today. It will be a day full of Copeland (oh, Copeland!) and Berlioz and Rimsky-Korsakov (oh, the Russians!). Sick and tired but accompanied by a gorgeous soundtrack.
When I finally reunited with David last night at 10:30, I pointed out that we haven't sat down across the dinner table together even once this week, trying to emphasize the calamity and grief I was feeling. I know there are greater tragedies, but in the haze of war, drained and battle-weary, it was hard to think of one.
Last night before I took Ethan to his baseball practice that started at 8:30 and went well past ten, Olivia reminded me that she had to turn in her NHS application today. I nearly started bawling as we tried to recreate a record of her service hours from the last two years, which felt especially impossible since I can't even remember what happened last week.
"Let's just bag it, Livy."
"But I need to do it for my college applications."
Savannah had me sign her report card earlier this week. There were plenty of B's and C's, with a couple of D+'s sprinkled in to remind me that I am not spending anywhere near enough time helping her with Algebra and Physics.
Apparently college may be a long shot for several of us. "Danger, Will Robinson!" We're going to need a plan B.
For his part, David has spent the week bailing water out of his own boat, and when he wasn't in late meetings or staying late to finish projects, he was running to the stake center to go to other meetings or hang lights for a youth dance. (There happens to be a youth speed-dating activity that he is helping to put on this Saturday. I am thinking of going just so that I can have 2.5 uninterrupted minutes with him.)
I tell myself that there's got to be an easier way, there's got to be a way to do less. Only I'm not sure what to eliminate: church or school or work?
This is the true dilemma of modern family life. How do I help everybody fill the measure of their creation, be successful and accomplish all the things they were sent to earth to do, and then still find time for us to eat and talk and connect with each other. Oh, Anne Morrow! Tell me what to do!
I have severe rope burns from the constant tug-of-war: Pull! We must "work while the sun shines," "put our shoulder to the wheel," make the most of the talents God gave us, set goals and make a difference! Pull! But also, somehow, someway, simplify, be still, and find a place for the peace and joy of simply being together! Pull! Pull! Most days it feels like I'm not pulling hard enough, but maybe it's because I'm pulling in two different directions.
Worst of all, I have some notion that it's my own choices (Danger! Danger!) that have brought us down this overcommitted path, but when I look around for a better way, it feels like I have no other choice. Whatever happened to the quiet life in the middle of the woods? When did that stop being a viable option? Oh, Thoreau! Take me with you!
It is always the same old wrestle and I'm not too proud to admit that the schedule pinned me to the mat this week. But it's my doubts that really fight dirty.
Uncle! Oh, Uncle!