“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon
What a glorious weekend in
Weather made to order for the extended Columbus Day weekend.
There were leaf-peepers everywhere, mixed in with college homecoming weekend crowds. And for those of us with school-aged children, there were soccer tournaments.
Last year was a bit easier... the boys were playing on the same team, so there was only one tournament to attend. This year, they are on separate teams, whose coaches inconveniently decided to participate in separate tournaments. My older son was slated to spend the weekend playing soccer about thirty minutes due south of here, while my younger son’s team was heading sixty minutes northeast.
Just one of the challenges of single parenting: How to be in two places at one time?
It took some finagling (praying, begging) but I was finally able to put it all together late last week. My older son would have a manly night out with our former nanny on Friday, who would then take him to his games on Saturday.
I would take my younger son to a hotel in a beautiful seaside town on Friday night, so we would be close to his games starting early Saturday morning. (We would also be well-positioned for some beach time, shopping and other fun stuff later in the day.)
We would all meet up on Saturday afternoon, when I would pick up my older son, take him with us to the hotel, then spend Sunday shuttling to a morning game for one and an afternoon game for the other.
A foolishly complex plan, but achievable. I thought.
Of course, life seldom goes according to plan.
On Friday, an hour or so after I processed my non-refundable credit card payment for our hotel reservation, my younger son complained that he wasn’t feeling well. He blamed it on a school mate that had been coughing all over him on Thursday.
Still, I hoped that this might be a mild (and quick) kind of thing. He wasn’t coughing or anything... just feeling rather tired. We put him back to bed and kept our fingers crossed.
Saturday morning (at the hotel) he woke up with a fever and that was pretty much the end of soccer for the day. He still thought he felt “okay” and was optimistic about playing on Sunday, so we stayed.
By Saturday night, I was wide awake, watching my eighth or ninth hour of television, while my two feverish sons slept fitfully beside me and their barely-touched room service dried up on the tray.
So much for our holiday weekend by the sea.
We packed up first thing Sunday morning and came home. We loaded up on chicken soup and vitamin C, essential oils and warm baths. By Monday afternoon, the boys were perking up and we were all going a little stir crazy.
So, what is the point of all this? I haven’t gotten official confirmation, but whenever we have a day – or weekend – like this, I usually assume it is some sort of message from the universe.
“Time to slow down.”
“Pay attention, please.”
"Could you eat a few more fresh fruits and vegetables, do you think?"
This (sometimes) gentle reminder comes to me frequently, from many messengers. As I was driving home on Sunday, I was listening to a CD from medical intuitive and mystic Carolyn Myss. Just in case I wasn’t already paying attention, she instructed me to live in the moment.
She has a bit of a take-no-prisoners way of communicating, which is fine with me. The message I was receiving? To stop wasting energy on regrets of the past and worries for the future. Remember that today – this moment – is of critical importance. Regardless of whether we can foresee the long-term ramifications of our present words and actions, make no mistake: They count.
As we sped towards home, I reflected on our “lost weekend.” Was there a reason why we had to spend eighteen hours sequestered in that hotel room? I thought of the people we’d interacted with. And the interactions we’d shared with each other.
I don’t know.
But I am grateful anyway.
I am grateful that my younger son recovered from his illness in less than three days and made it back to school today; his older brother is feeling much better, lounging on the couch as I type this.
I am grateful for all the helpful people at the hotel over the weekend, who brought us hypoallergenic pillows and room service and a measuring spoon when I really needed one.
I am grateful that it was, indeed, a long weekend... and that we were all feeling well enough yesterday to spend an hour at a local apple orchard. Fresh air. Sunshine. Vitamin D. Smiling faces.
Life is good.
I am grateful to be able to see and feel the beauty in caring for one’s family. Because it really is beautiful, even if it doesn’t always look pretty.
And I am very grateful that, so far at least, I am feeling pretty good myself.
Keep your fingers crossed.
We may not be able to avoid all the germs flying around our children’s schools, but there are things we can do to make our experiences with cold and flu season as mild as possible. Check out some tips in, "Healthy Families: How to Keep Your Kids (and Yourself) Feeling Great During the School Year!"
We'll be reviewing it at length, over dinner tonight.
Conscious parenting is all about living in the moment. As we all know, this is sometimes easier said than done. Read more in, “What is Conscious Parenting? Pay Attention, Please!”
Are you familiar with the works of Carolyn Myss? My two absolute favorites are New York Times Bestsellers, Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing and Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential.
Both are great reads, also available on CD for those long drives!