As I type tonight, my extended family is gathered in central Pennsylvania to celebrate my cousin’s wedding.
I was supposed to be there too. But, due to a series of unfortunate scheduling disasters, I found myself with just one option: travel the 2.5 hours to the wedding with Baby in tow, stay for the ceremony and first hour or two of the reception, put Baby back in the car and pray she’d fall asleep on the ride home.
I didn’t feel good about that option. I felt anxious about the drive to get there – unfamiliar roads with a chatty, and sometimes needy, toddler in the backseat sounded like a recipe for a 3-car pileup. I felt more anxious about the drive home – unfamiliar roads, in the dark, by myself, after a long day sounded like one of those moments you look back on and think ‘I never should have done that.’
And so I didn’t.
My cousin is, as she should be, upset with me. No bride-to-be wants to hear that anyone, let alone a relative, is not coming to her wedding. Only a saint would understand my situation while standing in her (hopefully comfy at this moment) shoes. She should be focused on herself today, on her husband, on those who made the journey to celebrate this wonderful day with her. She should not be at all concerned about my messy schedule.
I understand. But it doesn’t make me feel any less lousy. Any less like myself.
I once traveled 9 hours round trip for a friend’s wedding. I’ve traveled 7 hours round trip to spend 3 hours celebrating a friend’s birthday on the beach. I’ve prided myself on being there for my family when it counts and I’ve traveled the distance to show it.
But my life is different now than it was when I was making those trips. I have a family. A daughter and a husband. And I have to make the decisions that are best for them. I can’t do it all.
So, dear cousin, I hope you are savoring every moment of this day. We, here, are sending the warmest wishes to you and your husband. And I hope that, someday, I can make it up to you.
Instead of traveling this weekend, we spent a lot of time at home.
Friday morning taunted us with clear blue skies and brilliant sunshine. The first of such morning in weeks. Driving to work, I concocted weekend plans full of fun, fall activities.
By my drive home, the clouds had rolled in. And they stuck around.
So we made the best of it.
We baked and cooked. For real
and for pretend.
We enjoyed the cozy glow of the fire during breakfast.
Pinecones: fall or winter decoration? Discuss.
In another attempt to restore balance to a life that feels like pure crazy, I turned off my work email as I walked out of the office on Friday. I didn’t turn it back on until this afternoon. There were no zingers in there. Nothing that would have ruined a moment of my weekend. But somehow knowing that I could look at my phone and not think about the office, made me feel a bit lighter.
And so, another weekend is coming to an end. Tomorrow, another week begins. With more tough decisions, more striving for that elusive balance, more trying, against all odds, to do it all.
For now, I’m going to enjoy this weekend glow until it fades completely.