No Rest for the Weary

And weary I most certainly am. I got to work today on what was only my second day of the week, and was about ready to burst into tears. I was late, because I couldn’t find my keys (oh, and because there was a little wedding on TV), and I was alone in the classroom. No student teacher to keep me company, or run my little errands. I was totally overwhelmed by 9:00 a.m.

A wise woman would have scheduled a weekend of complete rest. Instead, what do I have on the agenda? A full day of babysitting (7:45-5:30) on Saturday followed by church and a birthday brunch on Sunday. Somewhere in there I need to deep clean my house, and finish the progress reports that were supposed to go out weeks ago. Life goes on, but it sure does march to a relentless beat these days.

What Does Your House Look Like?

You may have noticed that over the last two days, an item high on my theoretical priority list has been to clean my house. Each day, however, I have found myself with no motivation to do so. On grief, my house looks like it has thrown up. There are (clean) clothes still packed in suitcases from my trip to NH, there are dishes on the counter and (gasp) in the living room, the bed is unmade, the trash cans are overflowing, and generally the house is a mess. I don’t like living like this, but it somehow feels appropriate. It’s a reflection of my mind right now, one which is trying to sort through the senselessness of tragedy and which is fairly confused now. Still, I need to get the house in order, if only in an attempt to restore some sort of order to my mind.

Moving Forward

All in all, today was moderately successful… I was surprised to find that the sadness was more acute today, which made me want to spend more time alone today and also made me less interested in getting done the things that needed to be done.

So, the plan for tomorrow:

9:00 a.m. Wake up. Hopefully. Eat, and relax a bit.

10:00 a.m. Shower

10:30 a.m. Clean the house. For real this time.

12:30 p.m. Lunch – ham and mashed potato leftovers. Mmmm.

1:30 p.m. Read a book. Because I took three books out of the library before break, and didn’t read one of them.

3:10 p.m. Dr.’s appointment

4:00 p.m. Target

5:00 p.m. Walk

6:00 p.m. Dinner

7:00 p.m. Relax

Living the New Normal

Easter Sunday was tough. It was tough to sit in church and celebrate the Resurrection when my mind and heart are so firmly planted in the reality of this life. It was hard to go to dinner with my family and not feel like my aunt and cousin should walk through the door at any minute. It was tough to get home, and realize that not only did I not talk to either of them at Easter dinner, but that I never will again. It’s some tough stuff, I tell you.

Still, I’m reminded that life goes on, and I have a few more days off work to figure it out. As I got in bed tonight, I felt compelled to make a schedule for tomorrow, something to hold me accountable for my time, something to get me back on track. I’ll admit, it’s not the most scintillating reading, and for that I apologize, but it’s where I am and if you’re a faithful blog reader, I hope you’ll bear with me.

9:00 a.m. Wake up, eat, get ready for the day

10:00 a.m. Get an oil change, work on lesson plans and progress reports while sipping a latte at my favorite cafe

12:00 p.m. Lunch back at home… probably a frozen meal

1:00 p.m. Clean the house

3:00 p.m. Nap/Rest time

4:30 p.m. Walk

5:30 p.m. Contemplate the necessity of doing some errands and evaluate energy levels. Either do the errands, or plan them into tomorrow’s schedule

6:30 p.m. Community Group

8:30 p.m. Watch a little TV…

10:00 p.m. Head to bed

He Is Risen

 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 15:55-57

How grateful I am for this promise, especially in these weeks after our family tragedy. I pray each of us would know to trust the One who makes this promise.

Heartbreak

For most of my life, my family has been the bedrock of my life. My grandparents knit together a large, but tightly woven family, and I have been more than blessed to have been a part of it. We have, until the last few years, been blissfully immune from any real tragedy. On April 13, 2011 however, our collective world came crashing down. My day began with a 5:58 phone call, to which I did not wake up, followed by a 6:02 text message, and finally a connection with my mom somewhere around 6:05. I was up early to get ready for a conference I had to go to, but knowing that a phone call and text that early in the morning could mean nothing good, I called back immediately. Sure enough, the news my mom had for me was not good. There had been a fire at my aunt and uncle’s home, and my aunt and cousin had passed away.

Since then, I have been in New Hampshire with my family. Each day, more members of the family have poured in, and we have taken over the lobby of a local hotel which has been more than gracious to us. By Tuesday, there will be almost 50 of us here to say goodbye. It has been therapeutic to be together, to laugh and cry together as we ride the waves of grief, disbelief, and memory. I am grateful for our strength in numbers. Tomorrow and Tuesday will be tough days as we endure the calling hours and funeral, but the real challenge will come on Thursday when this is all over, when the family has gone home and we are returned to what is now our normal lives. The challenge will come on Sunday when we should have been preparing to celebrate Easter together at a home that is no more, with family members that have since passed on. The challenge will come as we learn to live in a world that now seems so random and unfair, and the challenge will come as some of us seek to return to faith in a Father we know to be good and loving but who right now seems so far away. We covet your prayers.

Clean.

My house is clean. Finally. I was home sick this weekend, and had entirely too much time to contemplate the chaos I had effectively spent the last 12 weeks living in. You see, it all started with narrative reports where I’d come home from my 8 hour work day only to put in another 4 or so hours typing narratives on the couch. At the end of each day, I was effectively exhausted. Then, it was February vacation, and I was sick, and finally, it was the end of winter doldrums that admittedly got the best of me.

I spent the weekend reading some of my favorite blogs, and found myself at least a little more motivated to get my apartment back in order than before. I read this post over at The Inspired Room and was reminded of the Fly Lady. Suddenly, the frustration I felt at doing a big clean only to have to do it again the next weekend had a solution. I knew I needed to find time to put in a big clean, but then it could be just a matter of routines. I’m signing up for the Fly Lady newsletter, and I’m committing to following her day-by-day tips for the month.

I woke up this morning still under the weather, and decided to stay home from church. By the afternoon however, I was ready to tackle the house. It took 3.5 hours, but the house is finally clean… and I mean really clean. I scrubbed the toilet, the stove, and the bathroom sink. I flipped my mattress, and vacuumed both it, my couch, and my carpet. I dusted behind the bed, and all of the little crevices that are so often neglected. I have a few projects left, but boy, does the house feel better!