Real Deadlines

August 6, 2016

I have had just about enough of this week. Getting four kids ready for school, in a new school, is wearing me out. That sucking sound? Yeah, that’s the audible hemorrhage from our checkbook…new clothes, shoes, and backpacks; computers, pencils, and Kleenex tissues…yes it specified Kleenex tissues. By Monday night, I could be heard saying, “Is this week over yet?” My car was at the dealer for an oil change, the dog was incarcerated at the vet for the weekend so we could go to family events in Ohio; by Tuesday, my computer would be held hostage in the shop to transfer data to a new one and ready the old one for Jack to take to school; Wednesday would find me hiding in my office, desperately trying to write a manuscript, trying to meet deadlines; emails rolling in by the dozens; phone calls being ignored; mail on my desk left unopened….On Thursday, my partner stuck his head in my office and asked, “How’s it going?” I pretended to hold my breath and I flopped my arms around as if to charade “treading water”. He knew exactly how I felt.

And then…on Friday. I was working on the manuscript, finally making some progress. Keeping an eye on time. I wanted to cram in one more run on the treadmill in the gym across the street before I left to get Jack. I hit “save” then “print”. I knew I could keep that paper tucked in my bag and work on it later tonight. Scott was taking the boys to Ohio, so Allie and I would have a Girls’ Night. But if I have a spare minute… I dashed down to the printer and glanced through to see that all of the changes I made in the last two hours…simply weren’t there! Did. Not. Save. Panic! I frantically searched for how to recover unsaved files. Still watching time…No use. I threw down the papers. And through a string of some bad words that I spewed, this Tough As Nails Trauma Surgeon sat at her desk and tears welled up in her eyes. I am so angry! This week is so dumb! I am so tired!

I took out my frustration on the treadmill, every 1/2 mile increasing my speed, because I had just enough spit fire in me to do it! And by mile 2, with endorphins racing, and sweat pouring down into my eyes, I had a moment of clarity.

Everyday this week, another partner of mine has made me drag my overwhelmed and busy and tired gluteus maximus muscles to the gym. With our pagers and cell phones on the reading ledge of the machines, we burned off some anger and some stress-eaten calories. And we talked. A lot. And we had some transparent moments of admitting our weaknesses…as moms, as surgeons, as daughter-in-laws, as wives. We teared up together. And sweated it out. We need the friendship more than the manuscript.

I wiped the sweat off my face and ran to the car, picked up Jack and got home. The boys left and Allie and I went to dinner. And to Target. We came home and made a raspberry preserve cobbler. And we made a mess! And we didn’t care. With flour all over the floor and raspberry stained lips, we talked and laughed and turned up the music really loud…and both sheepishly admitted we liked that Justin Bieber song. And when we let the dog out one last time…three moths came swarming in. My agile daughter climbed up on the counter and killed one like a boss! Another sweater saved.

We got our jammies on and cuddled up in my bed and watched Family Feud re-runs, intermittently yelling at the TV. And I was so thankful that dumb manuscript didn’t get saved. With my computer in the shop and the work I had done lost, I had no manuscript to distract me. The only deadline was spending time with my girl. The one who kisses me goodnight and says to me, “Good night, pretty lady.” That girl. The one who is beautiful and incredibly intelligent and athletically talented and humble and gracious. That girl. My girl. Who deserves her mom way more than any manuscript.

The real deadline is using my moments for relationship. For friendship. For momship. The manuscript will be there Monday. And probably Tuesday and Wednesday, too. But the relationship needed me then. Thank you, Jesus, for killing those manuscript changes. Us girls needed each other more than that this week…

Disclaimer: My viewpoints are not necessarily reflective of my employer, or any local, regional or national organization that I belong to. As a matter of fact, I pretty much just speak for myself. Please keep that in mind.

1 Comment

  1. Reply


    So true. When “life” is coming at us from all sides it can be hard to keep our relationships in proper perspective. Well said. Glad you and your “baby girl” had so much fun together.

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