It’s Tuesday morning. I wake up to the usual fog horn-esque calls for “Maaaaammmmmaaaa” from my kids’ rooms. As I slowly sit up in bed, I realize I couldn’t open my left eye. It is crusted shut. “What the…?!” I said as I shuffle to the bathroom to look in the mirror. “Oh come on…do I have pink eye?!” I say out loud to my still-sleeping husband. (Response: snores.) With two kids under four, we have had a few recent rounds with conjunctivitis and I, the designated eyedrops dropper, overcame each encounter unscathed thanks to hardcore hand hygiene and hyper-vigilant sanitization of all the places where little hands go. So needless to say, I was bewildered…and pissed.
After digging my eye out from underneath its newly formed exo-skin, I checked on my kids. Thankfully, their eyes were bright and clear. (Again, bewildered, but VERY THANKFUL.) So I texted in sick to work, got the kids off to day care and then contemplated the state of my existence. How do I reconcile the fact that I feel fine except for one isolated, yet super-contagious part of my body? As I pondered, I started puttering around my house, moving from room to room and completing unfinished tasks. No distractions. Frequent hand washing. Occasional eye wiping followed by more hand washing. Freedom to move about as I pleased. It was then that I saw the day for what it was: a gift of time. And it was glorious.
I bopped outside to do a little gardening. Then went up to my kids’ rooms to change sheets. Then off to the kitchen to clean up an incredible amount of crumbs. I even had time to work on my side business. Huzzah, I was ticking items off my list! I felt productive in my own home, instead of just maintaining the chaotic status quo. It is a rare feeling and while I did not enjoy repeatedly wiping away my “eye boogies,” I savored every second of being the master of my own time in my own home. Could life be this wonderful all the time?!
It seems a little silly that something so minor as pink eye can stop my whirlwind routine. But I am glad it did. Too often we moms run ourselves ragged and don’t take the time to care for ourselves because we’re thinking about everything else. This temporary respite helped me refocus on how precious time truly is and how I am able to spend it. Ironically, I still spent it tidying up my house, so I don’t think I fully learned my lesson. But it did help provide some needed perspective. Time is precious. So is my health. Thank you, oozing eye goop, for reminding me about that.