Thursday morning I gripped the steering wheel before I had even turned on the car and thought, "Oh, God, I don't want to do this. I just want to stay home."
For a thousand and one reasons, my monthly visits seem to tax my coping capabilities. I hate taking Micaela out of her routine when she is finally doing so much learning and developing. But Albuquerque is a non-negotiable destination. Micaela's specialists and the feeding clinic are there. And it is a blessing, I have a lot of dear friends in this city and my amazing sister to stay with. So, it really isn't a hardship.
But it is still hard.
I was away from my home exactly 28 hours this time in which every second was planned and used wisely so that I could make the most of the mileage.
Those busy days are common to a lot of people's plights in life. Often we are left with a couple days on the weekend to work on family and homes. Or, for us stay-at-home/work-at-home individuals, venturing from our homes can be a chore as we get out of our comfort zone and strap children into car seats.
If you have one of those days coming up, here are a few things I have learned from my own crazy days when so much needs to be done and you have little time to breathe.
1. Live it! That's right. It is what it is--the craziness, the cranky children, the weird weather, the unreasonably long Walmart lines, and the long wait at the doctor's office. You are already in this. You are already here. So stop obsessing about how bad it is or how bad it could get. Just be here, now, in this moment, and live. You'll realize that the here and now is more manageable when you focus on only one moment at a time.
2. Have a game plan. Have a list of things you need to buy, places you need to go, and friends you would like to see. Have addresses. Keep track of time. Remember that a plan is only a plan. Things can change. But you will get a lot more accomplished if you know where you are going after each stop and keep track of time so you do not aimlessly wander Target and lose half your day.
3. Snacks and water. Do healthy and fun and don't expect to grab it on the way. You are going to feel a lot better and be able to cope with a lot more if you keep yourself hydrated and nourished with some complex carbs, proteins, and good fats dancing around in your system. Plus, those little ones will keep up a lot better too.
4. Appreciate your battle buddies. My battle buddies are usually the girls, so if I see them as tiny gremlins intent on making the day even harder than it already was, then we are guaranteed to lose the fight. They are right there with me in the doctor's office and the backed-up traffic. I make sure to remind them how much I appreciate their good attitudes and how great it is that they want to sing "Joy, joy, joy," again...and again, and again.
5. Have support. I would never make it through these stressful trips if I didn't have amazing friends to visit like Jessica, (best friend from college) or my wonderful sister. Even calling friends when I'm out on errands and having them put my life back into perspective will put me back on an even keel. It is another reason why friendships are amazingly important.
As you look at your to-do list of errands today I hope some of these tips help. These days are definitely rough, but they are part of life. And I am sure that you, just like me, want to love this day and not just survive it.
I would love to hear of some other ways my readers out there survive those busy days. Comment, message, or find me on Facebook if you would like to share. :)
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
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"...and God was already there with me."