It’s almost comical that I’m sitting here writing a personal blog post. Only several hours ago I was sitting at my desk crying–literally crying–because I had reached my stress limit. I was at the end of my rope and couldn’t write another sentence.

Not only was every single one of my clients wanting to seemingly re-write the entire internet before December 23rd, my kids had just walked in the door from school and were strewing papers all over my workspace that said things like, “Winter concert on Thursday” and “Don’t miss Awards Day on Friday” and “Send a Snack for Blah, Blah Special Day,” and “Don’t forget to turn in your science/math/literature project by Monday.”

I looked frantically from my client to-do list, which seemed to be reproducing itself whenever I glanced away, to the pile of demanding school papers, to my disaster of a house and then down to my calendar which reminded me in big, glaring letters, “John=Staying late at work all week.” And that’s when the tears started.

Luckily, I have an awesome friend who is a great listener, so I took it all out on her. (XOXO Angie). After I had talked to her on G-chat (or really, at her, because I was in full rant mode about my client deadlines and kid responsibilities and this entire mess we call preparing for Christmas),  I had an eye-opening experience.

Among the many notes Cate had pulled from her school folder was a simple one asking us to attend a dance at the school on Friday. “No, no, no!” I thought as I prepared to toss it aside. I couldn’t even think about adding one more activity to my calendar. It was possible my head would even explode soon. But then I noticed that the dance was in  support of a second grader who has an aggressive form of bone cancer and is undergoing treatments.

I was immediately reminded of last Spring when Henry complained of knee pain and the X-ray showed “something,” so we were sent for a scan to rule out a more serious problem. I had a second cousin who died of a similar cancer at age 16, and I couldn’t help thinking him. I remember a tough moment with John one night when we both realized that this could be really bad; And then I remember the relief of finding out later that week that it was just a little bone spur. Our family had been spared of unspeakable pain.

Just reading the story of this other child’s painful struggle and imagining that being us instead–well, it felt pretty silly getting so upset about work and Christmas chaos. Isn’t it funny how God is able to reach out and show us what we need at just the exact moment we need it? I would (obviously) rather have the stress I have, then the stress that other mother is dealing with right now.

And so, here I sit. I have my head phones on blasting the soundtrack to Catching Fire while I crank out blog posts on long distance cycling and craft website text on ophthalmology (oh, and this post, of course. I’m taking a small break to write for myself).  I’m pretty content (I’d be totally content if John was here).

Could not have convinced me I’d feel this way a few hours ago.

So hang in there fellow Christmas countdown warriors! We may have to re-write the internet and save the world all in the next 15 days, but we also get to look at Christmas lights, eat tons of delicious food and hug our kids.

The important thing is to focus on the good stuff.

And you know, if you don’t have a kid to hug, just let me know….I have a family holiday lunch that I’d be willing to let you attend on my behalf.

p.s. Don’t we look chill in our holiday photo? Yeah, that’s what my fancy photoshop skills can do. Contain your jealousy.


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