When we talk about our lives, we usually recount past events as stories. Three points of evidence lead to a conclusion. If I wanted to produce a story that this Thanksgiving weekend was a wee bit difficult, I could. Four out of six of us got sick with that lovely stomach bug that hits us every year around this time. I think of norovirus as the universe’s early birthday “present” to me. So there was a fair amount of cleaning up to do. I thought I had escaped but then from Sunday to Monday, I woke up around 1 a.m. feeling queasy and feverish, and sure enough I had it as well. The worst part is that it was accompanied by stomach pain so intense I was actually howling (and yes, I’ve experienced natural childbirth, so there we go). I’m feeling better now (Tuesday) but still pretty weak.
The kids were naughty at various points. There were biting incidents, and we haven’t had those in a while. Then there were just the normal tensions over a baby’s nap schedule, and needing to watch him constantly as he crawls and sticks everything in his mouth.
Over the years, though, I’ve come to see it’s better to look at the whole mosaic of time. I’ve been logging my time for several months, and last week was a logged week like any other. I saw that amid the low moments there were some good moments too. We went to the zoo on Wednesday and saw two tigers cross over the walkway in their overhead “catwalk.” They are truly majestic beasts, a combo of sleek cat and powerful giant, and bright orange against the bare branches and wintry sky. I did two longish runs along the river (5 miles and 6 miles), maintaining a swifter pace than I usually would. The weather was decent for both, not too cold. Both times, I ran with people who were fun to run with! I took some nice walks with my baby in the stroller. We both like walks, and he can’t crawl down steps or stick things in his mouth if he’s strapped in! He took his first steps this weekend, or what I think were his first steps — who knows if he walks around in his crib before I get there. I got to see them. That was pretty cool. I hosted Thanksgiving dinner, and I think it turned out well. We opened the fancy decanting wine! Another highlight: my 8-year-old, completely unprompted, made placemats for all of us that said “thank you for coming” and “I’m greatful for….” with spaces for us to fill in the blanks (I like his guess at the spelling of “grateful”).
Life is rarely all bad or all good. There are plenty of moments in both categories. A stomach bug over a holiday weekend makes that incredibly clear, but it’s always true. It’s also true that all time passes, the good and the bad. I would have paid quite a bit to excise the hours of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. from my life the other night. But I’m sure some time I will wish desperately for four hours to last longer, so I suppose it’s all balanced out in some way.
7 thoughts on “Thanksgiving weekend highs and lows”
I love the placemats! Such friendliness and initiative shown by your eight-year-old! Did that spark a multi-generational conversation about what people were “greatful” for?
@Louisa – we did all fill it out! And talked about how “greatful” we were for him too 🙂
Ooh, the stomach bug with a houseful of small people is hard. One time all of us went down like dominoes and it was just so hard not having anyone in shape to take care of anyone else!
I always think the only good thing about the stomach bug is that it is over and gone fairly quickly (compared to, say, the pneumonia that hit my crew last Christmas!).
Hope you are 100% soon!
@Kristen – yes, blessedly it was quick for the little ones. They basically threw up, then slept. It seems to be taking me longer, but then again, I’m old now!
Laura, I love your attitude. I also aim to tell a story that reflects the more positive side of my “mosaic” of life.
I’m actually commenting on your newsletter about enjoying winter. I just wanted to let you know how much the idea of changing our thinking about our lives resonated with me. I used to feel much more stressed and frustrated until I made a conscious decision to change the way I thought about my life. If we view our life as a stressful number of chores which we need to overcome, we’ll miss many opportunities for happiness.
Your hosting of Thanksgiving dinner for 14 of us went better than “well.” It was great! I felt very blessed by good food and a loving family–and by the wonderful placemats, too. I treasure mine; it has a spot on the refrigerator right now!
The bad part–we brought the various diseases home with us. Wish I could have helped you when you were sick.