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My new catch phrase is “I don’t have time.”  I say it a lot.  It’s actually quite tiresome even if it’s true.  With the store and my son in school, fall activities and everything else, we’re barely still.  Many nights I go home and just go to bed.  It’s not because I’m tired but because it’s bed time.  I get up in the morning, dress, eat my breakfast (standing usually because there’s no time to sit) and head out the door.  I’m leaving earlier because there’s construction and other things that clog up my morning commute.

I have some time at work to do things.  I keep up with email and online activities.  I do bookkeeping for the store and maintain the website, blog, facebook page all while doing the job I am paid to do.  Sometimes I sneak a moment for reading or creating something.  But even trying to do something fun is stressful.

Then comes the food allergy issues.  I’ve learned I’m allergic to eggs.  It’s not a slight allergy that is just irritating – nope now that I am egg free the slightest slip and I have a headache and my personality changes.  My husband says I’m just plain mean.  Everything irritates me – it’s like PMS cranked up to 150.  It’s not pretty.  But the nice thing about that is both my husband and son take a moment to check labels and watch out for contaminants.  But I don’t think it ends there.  I’ve been good and yet have had two episodes so that means there’s another allergen or I’m overlooking something.

Today started out even worse.  My husband needed the car because his ride needed to make a delivery for our store.  It was one of those situations where we just couldn’t say no.  Morning was a bigger rush.  My niece, who my husband watches, was cranky.  I barely ate my breakfast.  The coffee is making me feel all icky.  I desperately wanted junk food and felt like the universe had just told me no.

My husband didn’t have time to make me lunch.  My mom, who is my lunch companion, had a meeting that looked like wouldn’t be over until noon.  Buying lunch on campus at noon was a nightmare I wasn’t looking forward to.  Trying to determine what I can eat while in a crowded food court is just more than I wanted to do.

She suggested eating at a café on the edge of campus – not much further from my office than the food court (okay well over twice the distance but closer to her office).  She even said we could pre-order our food.  Okay, I called, asked about allergens and put in an order.

We made it to the café right at noon.  Our order had a little hiccup but that wasn’t a big problem except that we needed to have time to eat.  Then my mom suggested eating outside on the veranda since the inside was rather warm.

Sitting there, outside, all of a sudden the world just stopped.  For a short period of time there was less noise.  The gentle breeze made the temperature perfect.  There was no hustle or bustle.  Just us and one of the best sandwiches I have eaten in a long time.

My mom noted how it felt like getting a mini-vacation.  For about 40 minutes, everything was peaceful.  We didn’t feel rushed.  We didn’t take our usual walk but it just felt unnecessary.  Most days there just seems to be this pressure to hurry up and eat and leave at our usual eating place but not today.  There was no one waiting for our table (or that we saw).  There were two bees that seemed interested in our food but even they went about their way before it became overly annoying.

Mom and I talked about a picnic when the bees were obnoxious.  No real talk about work – it just wasn’t important.  We had other things to focus on like the pizza like quality of our Italian sandwich and the delight that was kettle chips.

It was enough to remind us to slow down sometimes.  Even when we’re trying to “relax” it’s all about being productive.  I sit on the couch and watch tv while doing an art project, sorting materials for the store, taking breaks to clean something or plan something else.  There is no more being in the moment, there’s just not enough time.

So slightly renewed, I’ve realized that I need to find more of those moments.  Give them to my husband when I can.  Maybe then we won’t feel so off kilter all the time.

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