Sitting here in Starbuck's, it is a quiet evening; one hour left before I pick up my boys from open swim at the pool. To my right sits a couple, quietly chatting. To my left sits a young man and a young woman, awkward friends.
I'm sipping an americano with white chocolate and cream, along with an ice water. With me I have brought the boys' weekly quizzes for grading, which I've just finished. I'm the queen of the red correcting pen, applying liberally, as needed.
Work for me began at 5 a.m. This was the fourth day in a row of 9+ hour shifts. My work is NOT sedentary and those are NOT easy hours. My body aches, like really aches at the end of the day. I try to spend a few minutes doing a series of stretches when I get home from work to ease my back pain. I've found I hold a lot of tension in my hips which directly affects the tension in my lower back. Stretching makes a world of difference.
After work, after stretching, after changing out of my black t-shirt, I spend a couple of hours with my boys and their schoolwork, they are schooled at home in case you didn't know. This is our one on one time, going over corrections, giving extra instruction where needed, chatting; sometimes it takes as little as an hour, sometimes it stretches to three.
Our evenings are spent at swim, at church, chillin' with board games, pizza and movies, or lately for me, early to bed. I'm spending every last ounce of energy I'm given.
Aww, how sweet, the barista just brought me a FREE butter croissant fresh from the oven! I shall take it home to my husband.
I talked with an acquaintance today. Tammie owns and runs her coffee stand and works a second job. She can only say she's learned to just eat and sleep, that's it, eat and sleep. And I know. I know what it's like to wipe out every unnecessary thing from the slate just to keep breathing. And there can be a LOT of unnecessary.
One eventful day this week looked like this:
- work 9 hours
- one hour of one on one schoolwork
- to library to complete food handler's course online (needed the compatible computer)
- class takes longer than expected, rush to get boys to swim lessons
- pull up to pool, they hop out and I head over to pick up a couple things at WalMart
- receive text from pool receptionist (a friend of mine), youngest son grabbed his library bag instead of his swim bag. Not practical to head back across town for this so, no swim for youngest son)
- at WalMart, ready to pay, reach into purse, no wallet because I left it on the back seat of my Jeep.
- run outside, grab wallet, run inside, pay, run outside, zoom-zoom to get to pool just as lessons let out
- youngest son teary-eyed
- mom feeling inadequate, overwhelmed, spent
As I read over what I've written here, I am aware of the selfishness it portrays. I'm thankful for the trials, for the reasons behind my exhaustion.
- I'm thankful that I have a job, that I can earn money to help out my family.
- I'm thankful that my boys can be schooled at home, that we manage to chug through the hard days, that I can see them grow and learn before my very eyes.
- I'm thankful for a home, for a car.
- I'm thankful that my boys can enjoy an "extra" such as swim lessons.
- I'm thankful for unexpected gifts like butter croissants.
- I'm thankful that I can sit and sip a coffee and relax for a few moments.
- I'm thankful for health.
- I'm thankful for safety.
And it causes me to really take stock, to fill my heart with thanksgiving, and regard the things I've been given, or spared.
It's time for me to pack up my stuff and head over to pick up my kiddos, then get home to get some dinner ready, just leftovers tonight, but a meal.