Tuesday, June 17, 2014

It's OK to Say No to Crazy

One of the first things we thought when Eric was diagnosed (among other things) was... "We are just TOO busy for cancer!"  Eric's career was thriving (albeit with long hours and a lot of travel), I was loving my time as Primary President, my new business was busy and growing, the kids were occupied with sports, Scouts and church activities.  We were probably borderline chaotic, but over the years, juggling such a schedule had become my specialty. We had only been in Jersey for two years, but had started laying roots and forming friendships that filled the rest of our calendar with play dates, dinner dates and family barbecues. Cancer aside, the thought of loosing control of how we spent our time was a difficult pill to swallow.  Naively though, I was pretty sure I could just juggle it all.  

Soccer on a chemo day, no problem. Swim lessons on a surgery week... yeah, I can do that.  Slowly, however, the things that once had dominated our calendar all but disappeared.  I learned very quickly that "doing it all" was the wrong thing to do.  It left me drained of energy, irritable and feeling very overwhelmed.  The house suffered, the kids suffered - Eric suffered. We eventually just stopped showing up at soccer, we left gymnastics, church activities and Scouts only happened on occasion when energy allowed. Play dates and the running around required to get kids from here to there ended. Interestingly enough, I realized pretty quickly that I didn't miss any of that stuff!  I didn't miss the craziness, I didn't miss yelling at kids to find cleats or the last minute searches for ballet shoes and Scout Books.  I was able to shift my attention from keeping uniforms clean to quality time with Eric at doctor appointments and chemo.  I traded it for low key, quiet nights with my kids.  I don't remember which one said it... but one of the kids commented on our "new" schedule and mentioned how much they liked just being home.  After that, I never worried for a second that they were missing out on something. The transition that occurred in our family was awesome... suddenly, a soccer game in the front yard with each other was enough.  A movie or quick game of checkers was awesome. The highlight of the week was roasting marshmallows and sitting around our fire pit out back.  The chaos of running around was replaced with family time. At home. With each other. With Eric. Who can put a price tag on that?  I didn't miss yelling from the sidelines a single bit. I also found I no longer hungered much for outside social interaction to feel fulfilled. Everything and everyone I needed was right here within the walls of my own home.

As we've been emerging again from behind the cancer-screen... I'd be lying if I said we weren't enjoying getting back out there a bit. We have carefully chosen and added a couple of things back onto our calendar now that Eric is feeling better - but I have no problem turning down extra craziness. I love the serene, calm feeling in our home right now and I don't plan on polluting it again with a schedule that becomes crazy and overshadows quality family time.  Eric's cancer taught me how important it is to live more simply and most importantly, to deliberately allow family time to dominate our week instead of the unnecessary crazy that has become the accepted norm of this generation. I absolutely don't mind that their memories will be playing soccer with each other or beating me fair and square in a game of HORSE.



  1. You’re such an example of strength to me! xoxo

  2. Hi Colette! I never know where is best to reach you so you tell me maybe if there us a better way, but I so wanted to say thanks for your continued prayers and concern. We are home enjoying time as a family, but unsure of next steps. Your family is an inspiration to me. The "Believe" Subway art meant so much and was so well received on the BMT Floor at Huntsman. I love you. Sitting here "Awake" thinking of you from Utah.

    1. Oh my goodness... how did I ever miss this message? It just popped up in my email today and my heart just got all warm when I saw your name! I love you Tiffany - and even though we've never met, I think of you often, pray for you all the time and hope we can meet someday soon. Go get 'em, girl. You can do this!