weekend lookback, labor day 2014

Row 1 : School starts, summer ends; dinner lingers;  Row 2:  Flowers last

Row 1: School starts, summer ends; dinner lingers; Row 2: Flowers last

So perhaps you heard, but last Friday I woke up with yet another migraine. I did my normal routine of taking meds, and getting Neel and Cal out the door. While they were showering and getting ready, I edited some photos because sometimes it helps the pain when I concentrate on something like that, and all they while I was congratulating myself on holding my shit together pretty well. Cal had been at school for an hour before I realized that never fed him breakfast.

Lovely. Mother of the year right here.

Look. He was fine. And he normally takes care of himself on the weekends or over the summer, and once he got to school he grabbed some BBQ chips and Lifesavers (?), so all was well, but clearly I'm not holding the shit together as well as I thought I was. The thing about the migraines is that the pain and ensuing attendant symptoms are cumulative, and when you have a string of these things you start to get beat down after awhile. It's troubling too to feel like you're doing everything you can and still feeling so, so sick. By Sunday I'd hit five in seven days, and I was pretty much done in. I'd already decided to head to the doctor today when it occurred to me that I might just be a sinus infection that's causing this round of misery.

Lightbulb. Now that I've self-diagnosed, I'll still be heading into the doctor. But hopefully for some more immediate relief.

We still had a nice weekend. Met friends from out of town on Saturday for a long day at the beach filled with much talk and catching up. Met friends we hadn't seen all summer for a leisurely brunch on Monday. Moved slowly. In the between times Neel worked hard on his class, Cal worked on his homework, and I tried to recover. I thought about it a lot this weekend, and lately really too, how hard we all work and how important recovery is. The first week of school is hard on all of us, and recovery is so important. Have you seen that thread running through the internet over the past months, "Stop the Glorification of Busy?" I've been thinking about that article a lot this fall as Cal starts back to school, and Neel has been working every weekend. The glorification of busy.

Here's how I see of it: Busy is a four letter word.

We're all busy. Who isn't? Kids to day care and dance lessons. Up late with homework and practice after school. Running from one meeting to another. Re-writing curricula and managing colleagues. Meeting deadlines and making dinners. And yet I have so many friends and colleagues who trot out their schedules like they are resumes, as if their self-worth is to be found in the tiny cramped lines of their calendar pages. How many conversations do we start with, "I'm so busy..."

Well, we're all busy. Every single one of us has a plate that tends toward too full. But is that who we really are? Is that where we think our value lies? In the endless conveyer belt of things we do? If your calendar is more packed than mine, do you matter more? What would happen if, when we sat down to meet a friend for coffee or dinner or ran into them on the way out to the car, we focused instead on how we were doing instead of what we were doing? What if we spoke about what we felt our hearts? To my mind that's where our real value lies.

So we're busy. Eh. That's not why we matter to each other. That's not why we matter to the universe. Simply because we are here, living life upon this earth, we matter. We are bigger than all the things we do.