Lost voice, gained perspective

Last night I called in to work to tell my boss I couldn't come in today. I have a terrible cold - no fever - but I'm quite the disgusting mess. Runny nose, sneezing, coughing. Not anything you would want serving customers - and likely contagious, too.

I can't even get this to change to portrait style. Dying tree... 
My boss was NOT happy. I get it - I work in retail and it's a week before Christmas. But if I'm sick I'm sick. This is not anything I am doing TO her.

I was feeling very guilty about this. Then it came to me. Had the tables been reversed? Had I been the boss and someone else been sick, would I take it personally and make someone feel guilty? Quite possibly. But just maybe, not.

And while she thinks my illness is a detriment to her bottom line, she doesn't know me very well. Today is the most stressful day of my year: tomorrow my mother-in-law arrives. I love K. I love having her here, but her house is neat. My house is not. To make her feel welcome (and maybe a little proud of her daughter-in-law who is trying to make things nice for her) I always do everything in my power to have the house PERFECT when she comes. As with ANY guest (save possibly my dad who stays 2 months and eventually the guest status turns into regular household member) I focus my efforts to make their time with us the best it can be.

So to that end I clean and clear, clear out closets and strip beds and put the nicest sheets out, the newest towels are folded precisely and when I have time, I change the reading options in the guest room to meet the guests' tastes. "New York City with Kids" if it is a family. Norwegian cartoons for my niece, etc.

Today I have to make a serious plan and stick with it. It's the only way I'll make it through to 3pm tomorrow. Methodically.

Oh, and to make matters worse: our Christmas tree has already died! I watered it every single day. But it apparently wasn't enough. I always shop at the same place, and have for years, so hopefully they will give us a new one. I'd HATE to stop shopping at my favorite store.

And... I lost my cell phone. It's like losing a hand. I don't have time to fix that issue either. I just hope that as I put everything I own away, it will turn up.

It's a stressful day in Lake Woebegone. But it is easy to keep it all into perspective. I'm not a parent in a small, sad Connecticut town. My kids will be here to whine about chores and homework. And my husband is pitching in, too. K & NA prefer a clean house when they come, but in the end it is about being here as a family and celebrating a beautiful holiday. Two years ago the refrigerator died on Christmas Eve, spoiling all our food. Just as in everyone's favorite Christmas movie, we ate Chinese Food. Some years someone's been ill. And everyone survived.

Just as you see in this picture - I'm going to do my best and let go of things I can't deal with. And somehow it will all work out. I don't have time for additional stress. Time to start my day. One room at a time, one surface at a time. It'll all work out.

Finally - if you didn't see Saturday Night live because you were at a Christmas party, make sure you catch the opening. I will remember this for years:


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