07 August 2012

Guest Post

Presenting Still Life With Crockpot's very first guest post, by Katie Treadway.*

Life has been stressful lately. I thought I was handling it well. At our house closing last week, I signed all of the sale papers, as did my dear husband, and then I walked outside, hoping to be relieved that we had purchased our first home in years. 

But instead there was this large obstacle that stood in front of us. The Move. We had to wait 6 days before we could actually take possession of our new place, and in that 6 days we had to not only pack up the old house, but also have it completely cleaned top to bottom, inside and out so that the old house could go on the market. 

Apparently my kids thought I wasn’t handling the stress too well. Every time I talked to them it was about “packing” or “the new house” and really they just wanted me to spend time with them talking about anything other than the impending reality that was upon us.

Being the procrastinator that I am (and because the two weeks leading up to the move consisted of a week as a camp counselor and a week directing Vacation Bible School), I didn’t really have the time to talk to them about anything other than the move. So my children did what normal and healthy children will do. One packed up her room and then went to spend some time with a friend who was enjoying a normal summer-y life. The other asked to be dropped off at the pool each day. 

We did, eventually, get the whole house packed up and cleaned thanks to the attentive work of many wonderful friends and church members. They not only delivered boxes from one house to the other, but they also brought us food and cheered us on. But I have very little memory of any time with my kids over the past week. It’s a blur. And to make it worse, I had to return to work this morning.

My friend drove over from NJ to help us out as we began to unpack the house. But she did something even more special today. She took one of my daughters on an outing. They went an hour up the road to the lake and enjoyed life. She listened to my daughter’s hilarious sense of humor and she appreciated it. And then later in the day, she wrote about it as if it was the highlight of her day. And that’s when I realized that it really had been stressful for me and that I truly wasn’t handling the whole “move thing” very well. I was missing the very thing that I loved the most – my family. 

Why it took someone else driving across a couple of states to spend time with me and my family before I realized what an awesome family I have, I really don’t know. Sometimes life does that to us. It just keeps going and we get caught up in our own impending obstacles, not to mention the expectations of others in our lives until we finally just stick our fingers in our ears and shout at the top of our lungs, “LA LA LA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” which, in real life, happens much more subtly like an image blurring before your eyes when you’ve stared for so long that you can’t make out anything more than a puddle of color. What I do know is that I had stopped hearing and stopped seeing, and now I want to hear and see again. 

My 11 year old is currently snuggled next to me on the couch, trying to settle down before bed. I can feel her wiggling around as she remembers the drive and fun times today with my friend. My 13 year old is texting friends and looking forward to the back-to-school shopping I promised her today. My husband spent a lot of time laughing today, thanks to my truly awesome friend, and he actually took the time to put his arms around me tonight. And I am sitting in the dark choosing to pay attention to my life rather than get lost in some poorly written fantasy book that numbs my senses from the present reality. It’s like my friend blew in to shake us out of our numbing stress-mode and it worked. The thing is . . . I don’t want her to ever leave.

*Katie is a 39-year-old woman living in a house full of boxes of items that were not left behind in the apocalypse that was the move across town. She has incredible friends and an amazing family when she takes the time to look.


michele said...

katie, funny how life comes around and gives us a good smack when we need it, a gentle nudge when that's what works, a hug, great words, and a good friend to deliver it all.
moving rots...
friends rock!!!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it is the little things that make us realize what we're doing but most often the bigger things that make us see what is really important in life. Thank God for friends.