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Schedule Conflicts

My Sunday day of rest doesn’t work that way sometimes.

This was a day of deadlines to race a clock.  I resolved to fix real food for my family – for a change – to make up for being gone almost all weekend and distracted for a week.  As soon as I threw a quiche in the oven for brunch, I dashed to make a crockpot supper to make up for leaving the rest of the day.  It was supposed to be Swiss steak, but I found a pepper in the fridge and made it pepper steak because I figured if I didn’t cook with the pepper now, it would go bad before I had time to cook again.  As I worked on 2-3 big projects, I had no idea if/when I would finish tonight.   I thought I would work till dinner time, eat, and then race back for a potential all-nighter.

As I browned the meat, my teen-aged daughter realized she had a scheduling conflict.  In August.  She wanted me to fix it now.

Didn’t she know I was sleep deprived, stressed, on a deadline, trying not to burn the meat as I browned it, and hoping the quiche baked quickly enough that I would get to eat it before I left?  Cooking while distracted had caused some messy accidents and nasty meals the last week or two.

As I grew frustrated, I flashed to a life scene before children.  My boss was in the final meeting of a big deal when his high school daughter called.  He left the meeting to take the call.  After a few minutes, I went to his office to see if there were a crisis.  He was sitting at his desk, talking his daughter through an algebra problem.  After her questions were answered, he returned to the meeting and closed the deal.

My own father never knew when or if I had a problem with math, and I envied that girl with her father.  Then I resolved that I would put my own kids first.

That’s easily done with a cute newborn with the most adorable grin.  Sometimes, I forget it when my children are as tall as I am and listen to music I don’t understand.

This epiphany lasted only an instant, but I realized if I didn’t help my 15-year-old daughter with her crisis when she asked, she wouldn’t ask again.  I asked her to wait until dinner was in the crockpot.

Before leaving to work on my projects, we went through her calendar and worked on a possible fix.

Yes, I started a few minutes later than planned.  Fortunately, we finished before dinnertime, and I got to spend the evening with my family.

I am writing this to remind myself the next time my schedule conflicts to remember which priorities to put first.  One of them was put on my calendar 19 years ago when I married him, and the other two are 15 and 13.

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