“You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.” - Andy Warhol
My husband was out of town for the week on business and I was home with my three girls. I felt super proud of all of my accomplishments, you know, actually getting them to school, feeding them. I even mowed the lawn for the first time since - well, it had been a long time. I was on overdrive, my mind racing constantly thinking of what is coming next, how was I going to prepare, and honestly, not enjoying many moments – just looking to push through.
And Then It Happened
It was about midnight on the second night he was gone, all three kiddos sharing my room in some way; two on the bed, one on a mattress in a sleeping bag on the floor. Either way, it should have been a peaceful night. But it wasn’t. I woke immediately, and felt something was wrong. I just felt off. So, I went to the kitchen for a glass of water. Too late. As soon as I stood up, I knew this wasn’t just a little bump in the night, and remembered this distinctive feeling, and I knew tonight’s dinner wasn’t staying put.
While awkwardly arranging myself on the cold bathroom floor, the chills took over, but so did panic. Panic of fainting or just keeling over. My kids were here and I was by myself. I waited a few more minutes to determine if this was indeed as serious as it felt. Soon enough my body ended the debate. I knew I needed help, so I made the call to my parents. Luckily, my mom was able to come over, my dad driving in the middle of the night. Physically, I didn’t feel any better, but I had the peace of mind that everyone would at least be safe.
A New Day Brings Perspective
When daybreak came, the sun was shining, weather perfect for basking in the golden light, taking in the fresh breeze the trees wafted in through the open windows. However, I was not up to such endeavors.
It’s a funny thing about a crisis, health or otherwise; it reminds us to live in the moment because it demands our attention, unforgiving of distraction. All we can focus on is what is right in front of us, consumed with the desire to simply survive from moment to the next. So, when the crisis lets up, releasing the grip of urgency, we can appreciate much more the simple things we often take for granted. We are so grateful for a moment relieved from captivity, we forget completely the grandiose dreams of greener grass, but instead appreciate whatever grass we’ve been given.
So, despite the intermittent periods of the room spinning around me, I actually had a blessing come out of this. I became grateful again - grateful for the little things, the simple things; the things that actually matter when it all comes down to it. The signed papers for school, the perfectly balanced meals for the kids, the laundry all washed and folded – while important, they are not crucial.
The World Didn’t End
When my mom was here in the morning, I could hear her laughing with my girls (albeit a bit groggy from lack of sleep). Kids say the funniest things in the morning, when they are still loopy from a good sleep. They were joking about making peacock pancakes and my toddler was laughing hysterically. I had to let go my control-freak nature, and things turned out OK. I was able to see the world didn’t collapse when I didn’t have the dishwasher cleaned by breakfast or the kids didn’t eat their 5.4 servings of vegetables that day.
Sure, days are rough. There are always things to do on the ‘to do’ list. Laundry will always be there, and toys will seemingly find their way to a newly straightened floor. However, as long as we remember that it’s all about the simple things; the once pressing big things seem much smaller, whereas the overlooked small things seem much bigger.