Who's Got Time
to Give Thanks?
by Lisa M. Roberts
- Thanksgiving is next week and to be honest,
gratitude is farthest from my mind. Instead of preparing for
the holiday by revisiting history with my children, counting
my blessings, and shopping for ingredients to make homemade pies,
I am feeling squeezed by looming deadlines all around me. And
the forces at play are naturally working against every work goal
I make. It's EP life, yes, and it's the holiday season,
yes, but it's stop and go so much so that I'm feeling car sickness
at my desk! Is it just me? I wonder!
- Someone somewhere should re-schedule
American Education Week. A calendar jam-packed with classroom
visit expectations was sent home last weekend. The principal
says, "The number of diverse events is intended to simplify
your life, not add stress," but the teacher says, "PLEASE
have SOMEONE come in so your child is not all alone on this important
day." Meanwhile my husband has been home with the flu for
two days and has taken over our home office. His work commands
two lines -- one to log on to his system at work and the other
to conduct conference meetings at the same time. My hands are
tied. It's very LOUD in the office. The laptop is broke. I'm
writing this editorial with...and it does feel unnatural...a
pen and lined paper...in the kitchen...with every door possible
between here and there shut!
- Once again, my own work agenda
is pushed to the backburner. Is this fair? Well, yes. To put
it bluntly, my husband's job pays the mortgage and mine doesn't.
Who could argue with that? And if he's sick, he's sick, what
can I do? Insist he head out anyway and catch pneumonia? And
of course I'm happy to be there for my kids, attending class
events vital to their sense of self -- it's why I chose the EP life in the first place!
- Still, sometimes I feel like
all forces are bent on foiling my professional goals. I really
can't put the blame on family members -- they're just living
day-to-day like the rest of us. Yet something, or someone, somewhere,
is teasing me. Must be. Get this -- last week I practically jumped
through hoops to have ONE day completely clear of domestic responsibilities.
I drove 3 1/2 hours round trip to have my preschooler spend a
few days at my mom's. The next morning, I arranged for my two
boys to have after-school activities, and asked my daughter to
stay at the library after school until I picked her up. My hope
beyond all hope? To have a 9-5 work day...at home. Wanna hear
what happened? Guess. OK, I'll tell you. A phone call by noon
from the school nurse. Pop. Pop. Pop. One more big bubble burst.
- I know my family is on my side.
My son, home sick on that 9-5 wannabe day, took a long quiet
nap when he came home. My husband is at this moment -- after
finally getting off his 3-hour conference call -- arranging to
install a third phone line. My daughter waltzed in from middle
school 20 minutes ago and all I had to say was, "Honey,
Thomas is in the playroom, can you please...?" and was greeted
with a smile and a "Sure, Mom."
- So I started this editorial
under complete durress and am ending it in total harmony. Gratitude
is tip-toeing in closer and closer to my mind and heart. Like
a lullaby, like a fairy spell, that someone, something, somewhere
is lulling me to acceptance and peace. OK, the message is received.
Keep the faith. Hold on. The holidays are here...my family wants
me to succeed...and this editorial is, despite forces to be,
done. Maybe there's time to give thanks, after all.
- Lisa Roberts is the mother of four,
owner of The
Entrepreneurial Parent, LLC and the author of How to Raise A Family &
A Career Under One Roof: A Parent's Guide to Home Business
(Bookhaven Press, 1997). Copies of her book are available for
purchase at EP