Last week was not the best week for me.
For starters, I dropped my nose ring down the drain. Not a super big deal. It was more of an inconvenience than anything. Thankfully, I had a backup hoop that did the trick for a couple of days (and made me look way more hardcore than my go-to itty bitty stud.)
Next up on the list of debacles, I spilled water on my MacBook. Ouch. The irony that I’m constantly reminding the kids to keep water away from electronics was not lost on me. I had to hang my head down low when they came home and asked why my computer was flipped upside down like a tent on the counter – my unsuccessful attempt to dry it out.
Thank goodness for AppleCare. Even though it was covered, I still had to pay $300 out of pocket. Although it could have been way worse (like over $1300 worse), that’s still a lot of money to pay for some spilled water.
What else went wrong? Let me tell you.
After taking in my MacBook and learning about the cost of the damage, I went to Macy’s to return an item. They asked for my license. I handed it over and, you guessed it, left it there.
When I realized I was licenseless, I was already 25 minutes away from the mall (which had already closed), and there was nothing I could do but wait until the next day. I was starting to get pretty frustrated with myself.
Come on. Get it together. All of these small mistakes were costing both time and money. Neither of which are in abundance right now.
At this point, I was thinking I must be at my mishap quota for the week. I mean how many mistakes can a girl make in 48 hours?
Turns out at least one more.
The next day, I was stripping the beds in preparation for our company who was set to arrive that afternoon. I threw the sheets in the washer, started it up and walked away. About 10 minutes later, I realized I had not seen my phone.
And then it hit me. My stomach flipped and flopped as I was I was hit with a sinking feeling. You know the one that leaves your insides churning because you have an idea of what might have happened (and desperately hope you are wrong.)
I walked to the washer, turned it off and waited for the water to drain. I lifted the sheets and looked down at the bottom of the machine. There it was. Still sitting in the remaining water that had yet to drain. My phone. Submerged.
I washed my phone.
My husband was on his way to pick up doughnuts with my daughter. I picked up the iPad (our only working device in the house because the computer is out of commission, too) and FaceTimed him.
“Hello,” he said.
“I washed my phone. In the washer. With the sheets.”
Silence. “You’re kidding. Right?”
I know, right?! Ugh. He’s so sweet. He totally would have been justified in saying so much more than just “Jennnnn!”
With guests set to arrive and the house in need of cleaning, that meant my sweet hubby was now sent on the mission to retrieve my license and get me a new phone. With all four kids in tow, might I add. Not really how he wanted to spend his Saturday morning, I’m sure.
At this point, all of the “Get it together” and “What’s your problem?” thoughts I was having the day before were back in full effect. Like a siren wailing in my head.
At least I had AppleCare for my MacBook. What in the heck was the phone going to cost?
Why was I making all of these mistakes? What was going on with me?
Distraction with a capital ‘D.’ That’s what. Plain and simple.
Instead of being present and focused last week, my thoughts were drifting all over the place. I was definitely not living in the “now.”
The kids recently started school and this means there have lots of papers to sign, monies to hand over and a plethora of dates and deadlines to keep track of on the calendar. On top of it, all four of them have recently started activities which require more forms, more money, Sign-up Geniuses and lots more dates to keep track of on the calendar.
And, it seems that in a moment of my-baby-is-off-to-kindergarten weakness, I may have gotten a little overzealous with the sign-ups. Sure I will be Room Mom and Box Top Mom and join that committee and (wipe my tears) whatever other sign-up comes my way. Sure. I’ll do it.
Last week, after volunteering to help with an upcoming event, I received an email from the teacher asking if I was sure I wanted to help with this one? She had recently been notified that it may be good for the Room Moms to limit their involvement in some of the other activities because of the large commitment already made to helping in the classroom.
Wait. What? I signed up to be Room Mom for this class, too?
I’m pretty sure any self-help book I pick up on making healthy choices and minimizing stress would advise against putting your name on all sign-up sheets that make their way into your hands during Meet the Teacher Night – especially when you’re in a state of emotional distress.
All of the papers and what-nots had me distracted last week, but that’s not all. I think it was also learning how to operate within my new normal. I am used to having kids home with me, and now I don’t. And it’s different. I am learning how to make the best use of my time, and I am also quickly learning that just because they aren’t home with me – that doesn’t mean there are suddenly an extra 40 hours in the week. I need to pick and choose how to spend my days in the most beneficial way for both myself and my family. I’m learning.
I’m also learning it can feel lonely sometimes. And a bit isolating. But I know that will pass.
And to top it off, my mom and stepdad moved to our small town last Sunday. While this is very exciting, I haven’t lived by my mom and stepdad since college. The blessings will be many, but I do believe there will be a learning curve for all of us – including my sister and her family who live here as well.
And this is what had my head spinning. All of this change. While the change is all good, it’s still change. And it was taking up way too much space in my head.
This week has been better. I have put some systems into place that have helped me feel more organized and less spastic. I have made lists – lots and lots of lists. Instead of having all of those thoughts clogging my head, I have put them down on paper – which for me, is sometimes the best medicine. When I find myself drifting, I am trying to practice something a friend told me about last weekend. I am trying to practice being present in the “now.” Listening to the sounds, observing the sights – paying attention to my surroundings.
These things have helped. This week has been better for my electronics, and our bank account.
The big thing I learned is to not beat myself up. These things happen. Bad weeks happen. Sometimes water gets spilled and phones get washed. It’s all about moving forward and learning from mistakes, right?
This won’t be the last time I have a bad week, but hopefully the next time it happens – I will remember to stop and look before I throw my phone in the wash.
Jennifer Thompson is a stay-at-home mom of four spunky, sweet, kind and sometimes a bit wild children. She has a passion for the written word and thinks libraries and bookstores are the coolest places ever. When not hanging out with family or writing, she can be found enjoying a good cup of coffee, running, spending quality time with friends, working on some type of project around the house, planning the family’s next trip to her favorite destination – Walloon Lake, Michigan, or very possibly – reading a book.
Jennifer enjoys writing about her parenting experience and outings with her children for Indy’s Child as a freelance writer and blogger and also keeps a personal blog, www.trulyyoursjen.com, that she has fun writing when time allows.