From Friday evening May 15 until the afternoon of May 17, Kevin and I were on a retreat with our Spiritual Direction Institute (SDI) class. As misfortune seems my lot, the afternoon we were supposed to leave I was suddenly hit with a powerful wave of fatigue and a desire to crawl into bed and sleep the whole weekend with our place all to myself.
This was the first red flag something was amiss. I’d been looking forward to this particular retreat for a while. A friend had told me this was one of the weekends she enjoyed the most.
Kevin and I both had trouble sleeping that night. By the time we had to get up, my throat was really sore and my lymph nodes were swollen. Not cool. Luckily I had brought my own box of Honey Vanilla Chamomile tea and some raw honey, so I made it through with several cups of tea and glasses of water.
By Sunday evening when we got home, I wanted some time alone to process and unwind. We had minimal groceries, so I made myself a smoothie before retreating to the bedroom for some much needed solitary confinement. Trying to be somewhat health conscious, I put spinach in my smoothie. I put more in than was needed and added ice, so the color and taste were weird. Ah well, it’s cold and my throat is very sore.
I set my gigantic cup of smoothie on the nightstand next to the bed. It was still light out, so I figured I’d open the blinds and let some sunlight in. The next thing I know, gross green smoothie has splattered all over the place. This is not the first time I’ve had bad luck with these blinds. They are not of the highest quality or the sturdiest construction, so I wasn’t terribly surprised they came crashing down. My dismay came from realizing that the blinds had come off of the window, crashed into my cup of smoothie, and fallen to the floor, leaving a splattering of green the likes of which I have never seen before, certainly not in our bedroom.
Kevin heard the crash and came running.
Kevin went to get paper towels to sop up the green goop. We’d run out. He brought in some blue cloth-like towels you’d use on your car. (He refers to them as shop towels.)
“Do you have enough stuff to make another one?” he asked. I glared at him certain he had to be joking. Turns out, he wasn’t.
“No, I don’t, but I don’t care about that,” I told him, appraising the scene before me. In one fell swoop, I had turned what was supposed to be a relaxing evening of recuperating into a blind-breaking, plastic smoothie cup flying spectacle. I just wanted some time alone to rest, but it was not meant to be. I had inadvertently seen to that.
Kevin was furious. I told him to go into the other room. I’d clean up my mess. I was already upset with myself enough for both of us.
He went back to watching TV, one of his preferred methods of unwinding, while I proceeded to mop up the green stuff with an assortment of linens that already needed to be washed, the blue kind of paper towels, and various articles of clothing I’d put in a bag to give to Goodwill. Once I had gotten up the puddle on the floor by the bed, on the nightstand, behind the nightstand, under the nightstand, and on the windowsill, I stripped the bed, wiped down the mattress cover, and put the soggy sheets in a plastic bag to take down four floors to the basement of our building where the washer and dryer are. That seems like it would be said in a whining voice because it was.
Before I did that, though, I figured I should probably use some Clorox wipes to get the green splotches off of the walls. My efforts met with moderate success, but as long as some attempt had been made, I didn’t care. There are still green dots on the outside and inside of the lampshade on my side of the bed. I was too tired to bother trying to clean them off that evening or since. Aren’t we supposed to have frequent reminders of our need for humility and our uncanny ability for humiliation?
For my next trick, I called and/or texted everyone on the sub list for several days in a row trying to get people to cover my shifts at school. No, not because I was still cleaning up smoothie. I’ve given up on those remains of the day. I’d gone to the doctor about my sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and was told I had a fever, but that I tested negative for strep. I was prescribed a strong antibiotic just in case. I felt pretty awful, but having to call and search all over creation for someone who could take my shifts was only making things worse.
Over the long weekend, I still wasn’t feeling great, so I ended up missing Mass on Pentecost as well as the birthday party for our Goddaughters who turned three. Kevin reinjured his foot and was in so much pain the store manager sent him home early.
Truthfully, seeing so many photos on Facebook of happy people at the beach, having barbecues, at graduation parties, wedding receptions, having fun in the backyard, on exotic vacations…slews of individuals and families thoroughly enjoying their Memorial Day weekends made me green with envy (a prettier shade than is on our lampshade from the smoothie incident).
God has had mercy on us. This weekend has been much better all around. We've gotten to spend quality time with family and friends, enjoy a yummy cook-out, hang with some of our favorite little people, go to Mass together. I even successfully made a smoothie with some spinach in it, but way more fruit that tasted delicious and didn't end up anywhere it shouldn't have.