I seldom write a “To Do List.”  I have a day-planner type of calendar on my desk and I note obligations on it.  But I don’t write a list of tasks to accomplish.  Perhaps it’s too depressing knowing that my time and energy is limited. I’m just not a “To Do List” kind of girl.

But today was an exception.  Today, I located some 3×5 index cards and jotted down a list and timetable.  It went something like this:

Wrap gifts
Clean kitchen
Make dip/bake cookies
Hair & Makeup – 3 PM
Dinner in CrockPot – 3:30 PM
Ride to _____’s – 3:45 PM
Church – 4:30 PM

The list was written after I had already worked at my real job (on the computer) for about an hour.  I finished up and headed to the kitchen by 12:15 PM and began cleaning up and baking cookies.  I even put dinner into the CrockPot at about 2:30 PM–ahead of schedule–and by 3 PM, I had finished baking cut-out cookies (known to some people as “sugar cookies”) and Peanut-Butter blossoms (you know, those delicious little peanut butter cookies topped with Hershey’s kisses).

The dishwasher was humming along and I was about to head upstairs to begin primping (and spackling and doing all the things that 50-year old women have to do before appearing in public so people will not think they are ill or about to croak; it involves primer and concealer and lipstick and a curling iron).

Then I received a text message at 3:03 PM from one of my kids.  It said, “Need to be leaving in 10 minutes.”

I found this message puzzling.  What?  Where?  Why?  A quick consultation with my husband revealed a terrible truth.  The offspring in question had not coordinated his need for a ride with his dad’s schedule.  In fact, they were both heading to the same location, but the son needed to arrive by 3:30 PM while my husband was not leaving our home until 3:30 PM.

This was a miscommunication.  This was a problem.  The son thought he had communicated his schedule to me but he apparently failed to take into account the limited brain-storage space I have for the details of other people’s lives.  His brief mention of this obligation last Sunday did not really register with me at all.  In other words, I had NO IDEA he thought I knew he needed a ride today.

So, instead of “Hair & Makeup” at 3 PM, I drove my son to his rehearsal while my husband finished showered.  When I returned home 30 minutes later, I was thirty minutes behind schedule.  I delivered another child to another location . . . then had about 15 minutes to do my make-up and hair and to get dressed.

We arrived at the Christmas Eve service five minutes before the starting time.  Normally I am not a stickler for being on time (at some point, I just capitulated) but tonight I had to be on time because I had to read the Scripture passage before the sermon.  And so, I did.

All was calm.  All was bright.

Then we came home, ate dinner (fajitas in the CrockPot, who knew?) and then I worked a five hour shift.

Now, it’s late, so late it’s early, and I have to arrange gifts around the tree and stuff stockings before crawling into bed.  Fortunately, the kids are old enough to value sleeping in at least a little.

I do have to note that while I was driving around in frantic irritation at the disruption of my schedule, I thought of Mary the mother of Jesus . . . how her life was disrupted.  Aren’t children just the biggest disruption ever?  That’s something to think about.

That thought did calm me down a little.  And then I thought how maybe having a little more margin in my life might be a tiny bit helpful.  And then I thought about my friend MaryKay reading a book about “margin” a long time ago and then my thoughts just ricocheted in a half a dozen directions and it’s lucky that I didn’t get into a traffic accident on the way home because I was so distracted by my thoughts and by my mild panic about the time.  (Also, I might have said at some point, “So basically, I am the one who will look like CRAP tonight.  Also?  I will not be wearing clothes since I have NO TIME to get dressed!!”)

Merry Christmas to all and to all, a good-night!

Here’s a photo of my kids from ten years ago and a re-creation of the same photo today.  You’re welcome.

PicMonkey Collage two


3 thoughts on “Interrupted

  1. Vivian says:

    oh my word…i love the picture!! your daughter cracks me up!!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thank you for sharing your life with me this year, it is a joy and an encouragement.
    Gods blessings to you all! xoxoxo


  2. Esther says:

    Have I ever told you how amazing you are? Well, you are amazing! There, I said it. It’s a wonder you can keep it all together. But I love that you take the time to share the happenings – the crazy happenings – with us. And the picture on here is great – I hadn’t noticed when I first saw it on my phone that you even have them wearing very similar clothing 10 years later. This is classic. Fun.

    Thank you, as always.


  3. Susan Halla says:

    Love, love, love the photo. I can’t believe that you were able to re-create it, down to the details of the plaids. Amazing.

    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and you are not alone in cleaning mode; I’ve been doing the same.


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