We all know how to handle stress:
- eat, but not too much
- follow a routine but be flexible
- lean on others
- use the right tool for the problem (ok you might not know this one but it fits… trust me)
- eat some chocolate
I could’ve of used all of these today.
It’s been a long week and an even longer day today. The week had been extended by multiple away soccer games; average time getting back home all week long, 11:00pm. The domino effect has been no exercise for me in the mornings. Instead I’ve struggled to get to work on time and stay awake once there. The other domino has been not as much time with Mom and Dad. My plan was to spend both quality and quantity time with them today.
There was no game last night so I endeavored to go to bed early, of course I was awakened several times by my “tow-heads” and true to form since I went to bed early, I awoke early. 1:30am I’m awake, putzing around my bedroom, paying bills online, and reading mail that I hadn’t gotten to the day before and trying to sew a button back on my son’s pants.
After digging out my sewing kit (every Marine has a sewing kit and is taught how to use it), I realized I lacked the greatest invention known to man, the needle threader (remember my comment about using the right tool). So I hiked off to my local 24-hour Walmart and bought a pack of them… and some groceries since I was there. Returned home and finished my son’s pants and since it was only around 3:00am decided to read my email.
That’s when I learned that my brother was in the hospital, critically ill, possibly about to enter hospice.
My first reaction, I’m starving. It’s 3 a.m., I’ve just learned horrendous news, and I’m craving food. Recognizing that what I wanted to do was “comfort eat”, I fought the craving and instead opened my calender, wallet and began to plan. A couple of hours later I drove to off to work.
I didn’t try to do everything at once but over the course of the day, between meetings and work tasks, arranged travel plans, rearranged my family’s weekend, exchanged multiple emails with my brother’s family, enlisted the help and prayers of others and offered more than a few prayers of my own.
I also spent over an hour with Mom and Dad, neither knew who I was. Truth be told, today I wasn’t sure who I was either: son, father, brother, parent, caregiver, employee, I’ve been distracted throughout the day and more than a little worried for my brother and family. It is going to be a long weekend… and beyond.