Monday, March 23, 2009

Under Pressure

So I learned something very important about myself this weekend: I don't seem to perform very well under stress, which is funny, because I think I've always thought of myself as someone who does okay when things get crazy. But no, apparently this isn't true. To give some background, this weekend was a bit on the crazy end of things. Saturday we were trying to get things done around the house before this baby comes, and it was a dizzyingly full day. Sunday we popped out for groceries first thing in the morning, went straight to church, I dropped Ben and Z at home, and then left for my Female Spirituality Group (totally amazing, and more on this later). The plan was that when I got home, Ben and I would quickly tidy up the house, get dinner ready, and be ready for our dinner guests who were coming at 5:30.

I got home at 5:00, and let's just say that half an hour is not really enough to do all of that. And we had a fussy toddler on top of everything that pretty much required one of our full attention. I was flipping out, as my patient and long-suffering husband will attest to. The funny thing is that in the moment of panic, I lost all perspective on what was going on. Because to tell you the truth, in retrospect, it would have been totally fine if our neighbors showed up to a messy house with no fancy snacks out for them. We could have just hung out for a bit, thrown some burgers on the grill, and I bet they wouldn't have even noticed the difference. But as I was running around throwing clothing into closets, throwing pita wedges into the oven, and trying to appease Zosia, I was fully convinced that all of these things were somehow vital to my survival.

By some act of God, everything did get taken care of, but not without a cost to me and those around me. I feel like when the neighbors did arrive, it took a full hour for me to settle down enough to actually enjoy their company (which I did very fully enjoy in the end). As I reflect back on the experience, I think there are several lessons I hope to take from it: in general, planning and preparing for stuff is actually my way of making it easier when it comes around (and is a good thing that I should do more of); I should stop caring what other people think of me, my house, etc. because simplicity is something that ultimately does require one to modify expectations and relationships; I should aim low and put stuff that doesn't really matter on the back burner. As we're hunkering down and preparing for baby #2, I'm feeling that some of these lessons couldn't have come at a better time.

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