I had a full agenda in mind for Wednesday. After dropping the babe at school, I was scheduled to teach two classes, and I hoped to run a few errands before retrieving her at the end of the morning. During her nap, I planned to transcribe a recently recorded interview soon to appear on the Trailblazers series (it's coming soon I promise!), catch up on some admin work, and get started on next month's newsletter. But at 3:30am, my daughter started screaming. Her ear hurt - and no amount of consoling, cuddling, or cajoling was improving the situation. My husband was traveling, the pediatrician's office was closed, and I didn't want to wake any of my go-to wise mamas for a brainstorming session. Then she became sick - repeatedly... So I called a cab, and we headed for the hospital.
A few hours later we were released with a diagnosed middle-ear infection, a prescription for antibiotics, and a serious lack of sleep. I was relieved to know the babe's discomfort would be relatively short-lived. But no sooner had I given thanks for the outcome than I uttered a sigh of resignation over my lost productivity. I informed the babe's teacher that she wouldn't make it to school, asked a friend to cover my teaching responsibilities, and picked up a few groceries before tucking us in for the day. Back into pajamas the babe went, and we spent our time resting, reading, and indulging in a rare movie-viewing.
As we lay on the couch together, I gave into the sweet stillness of the moment and re-framed the circumstances. I have been missing my mornings with the babe since she began preschool, and while I would never choose these conditions, it was a welcome pause in the new, faster rhythm of our lives.
We so often get so caught up in our plans that we lose perspective on what matters most. No agenda item is as important as caring for a loved one (and ourselves!). Next time your agenda is sidetracked by unforeseen circumstances, can you pause and consider what you need? What truly important thing can you accomplish?