Do you long for ordinary days? What are ordinary days to you? For me, mostly, an ordinary day is one that includes dinner with my family. Ideally, it would also be one in which the house is clean, laundry is “in process”, and I am working in the studio with no distractions.

This summer was all of that and none of that with four teens in the house. I looked forward to fall, getting everyone situated in school and focusing on my business without distractions of managing schedules and cars.

We delivered my daughter to school one weekend. Then my son the following. One weekend later, we picked up my daughter to bring her home. I was physically exhausted, let alone mentally exhausted. She suffers from GAD and OCD and has managed it well for years. But she experienced panic attacks and a depression that was quite new to her and, despite excellent resources, felt that she had to come home to get better. Many of us, my family included, have been touched by various forms of mental illness and I think we all benefit by sharing our experiences.  She has a brilliant mind and I’m confident she will build the resources she needs to cope with this. She talks about it quite eloquently on her blog Words Truly.

So my “ordinary” days became filled with doctor visits and a few tears here and there. Busy is better for Maggie and as soon as the depression lifted she was eager to set up a schedule, which now includes intensive therapy, volunteering at the hospital, working at her summer job/internship, playing piano at a Church, volunteering at my son’s school with their Christmas program, exercising and starting an Etsy shop. Until a nasty cold set in. Ordinary days?

But the body heals as does the mind…..until Annie injured her foot at school and we added a few more doctor visits to our schedule….and Maggie injured her foot while jogging….

And still I longed for our annual bike trip to the valley. But between the chaos of our “ordinary” life and football games, we couldn’t find the time….

I was helping Maggie with her Etsy shop which seemed a straightforward way to use some of her creative mind. Until we had all kinds of glue problems and she stuck herself with a craft knife….ordinary days.

Until last week I had a problem that was hampering me and my gyn wanted to put me in surgery for a d&c and ablation. But I had a weekend family football game to attend…so thankfully she gave me some free hormones so I could make it through the weekend….rest up for a day and drive out with my mom for the procedure yesterday. Ordinary days….. I was a bit nervous. After all, you never know if you’re going to wake up from anesthesia. But I did…all went well and I came home and rested. I feel pretty good, but I’m going to take it easy for a while and I’m certainly going to take advantage of my family waiting on me through the weekend. Just more ordinary days in our un-ordinary year….my husband started a new job this year after   working for a company for 23 years and taking one sick day. That’s actually extraordinary, but companies don’t care about that any more. We are grateful he found a good job before he found himself out of work. Something you should expect if you are around age 50…age discrimination is rampant. (And, by the way, his former company lost a 7 Million dollar age discrimination case – the largest in Cuyahoga County – but that was not a path we were planning to pursue.)

Ordinary days….hoping I can get signed up for a 5K but never finding the time….

My husband has the type of personality that tends to wish time away. He likes “ordinary” weekends where we have no plans – that means no football games to attend, no family parties, no weekend travels, etc. We have not had many of those….He’s always looking to “get through” things to get to the next thing. I try to by mindful of our life….grateful for the good times and strong during the tough times. Normal for us at this time would have been a return to a quiet night out to dinner – just my husband and me – but we haven’t even managed that.

But ordinary days are not always very ordinary… This past weekend, although it was away and at a restaurant, I was able to enjoy a dinner with all my kids around the table. We were joined by my mom and sister, nephew and friends. I’ll take that kind of ordinary day….