I swear - for about a week there, I was finding a rhythm. One that was working relatively well for all of us - healthy, home-cooked meals, one after school activity that the boys love, parent meetings that are winding down at school, and the laundry was in check.
This was not that week. While those routines were working well, there still wasn't a whole lot of wiggle room for anything else. Which is what this week presented a whole lot of - that other stuff of life that throws every carefully planned day off track. By itself, each individual thing wouldn't have been any big deal - shrug your shoulders and regroup tomorrow, right?
First we had one, then two sick boys. Then we had parent-teacher conferences - both at the boys' school and at mine (where they continue for the first two days of this week). Then there was a delightful fall program and potluck - the real fun stuff, but a hitch in the routine. An event every night, too much coughing, and things weren't terrible, but they weren't smooth.
The other big thing that has life a little on it's side right now is the health of my grandma. At the beginning of October she was diagnosed with 4th stage small cell (lung) cancer. Two weeks ago we all went to church together - she wasn't feeling great, but things were still manageable. Within the last week and a half she has become much more severely ill, and needs a great deal more care. My mom, aunt, and uncles have been doing an amazing job of caring for her, and my cousins and I try and step in when we can. Several have come long distances (Idaho, California, and even Afghanistan) to spend time and share our love with Grandma. Because she lives only 5 minutes from my school, I try and go by after work or on my planning/lunch period. This weekend I spent several hours there each day.
While my grandma's illness has thrown our balance for a little loop, it has been such a reminder of the importance of priorities. And while balance and simplicity of schedules is a huge priority for me, there are things that trump even that. Spending as much time as we have left with those we love is one of the reasons why everything else needs to be simple. It allows us the space to care for those who care for us. I don't want to be anywhere but in the cozy living room in my grandma's house or in the folding chair at her bedside.
So, if everything else has to get a little more complicated or rushed right now, that's ok. The calm will come back. But what I couldn't handle is nursing a regret that I traded time loving someone for a home cooked dinner every night.