Friends, jumping back into life after a weekend road trip is no picnic. As soon as we got home on Monday, I went to the grocery store twice (because I forgot important stuff like salt the first time), we did four gazillion loads of laundry, and the kids bathed for the first time in days. Yesterday we hit the ground running, and I immediately felt overwhelmed and panicked about everything I need to accomplish by the end of this month. It's not pretty. Then partway through making dinner, Daniel started feeling sick* and I tried not to freak out, but it's been a completely shitty winter for us in terms of kids catching germs every 3 weeks since Halloween (I am not exaggerating), Stuart wasn't going to get home until 9:00, and I very nearly fell apart.

Today, it all came into perspective. You may or may not recall that at the end of last summer, I got the sad and unexpected news that a former professor and mentor of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer. I hadn't had a lot of contact with her in the last few years, but it was still a punch in the gut to know what she was facing with surgery and chemo on top of parenting a tween and managing a stressful job. I made her a blanket because I had to do something for her, and it was the only thing I could think of.

I chose to make the blanket orange because that is a color she wears a lot, and it seemed cheerful without being garish.

This afternoon while at the music school, I ran into J. It was completely unexpected and I was so happy to see her. She looks good. Her head was covered with a scarf because her hair hasn't grown back yet, but the chemo finished up in January and she is starting to feel better and is - for the time being - cancer free. We didn't have time to catch up, really; she had to meet a student, and I was running down the stairs to a rehearsal, but she told me the blanket meant a lot to her, that she curled up underneath it during chemo, that her cats love it, and that it even matches their family room. It was the highlight of my day to see her. And while I'm still feeling exhausted and stressed, I've had some perspective today.

They say don't sweat the small stuff. They also say it's all small stuff. I think both are true. But for today, I'm grateful that I can sweat the small stuff in my life, because one day the Big Stuff will come and I need to embrace what I have now.

*Daniel is fine. He had a good long sleep and woke up feeing totally normal. Not sure what that was about, but I'm relieved.


Julie Crawford said…
oh my gosh, what a wonderful thing to do for J- that blanket looks great, and you chose a colour you knew she would love. And then running into her.. it was meant to be!

Glad that D is feeling better. I feel like I've had that winter too- I wash my hands a million times a day like I'm scrubbing down for surgery, and still I get every little bug that comes my way. Ugh.

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