I had plans for today.
January first, a holiday Thursday, the clinic is closed and I’m not on call. It’s the first day of the new year, time to eat healthy and work out. I had a shopping list (hey, stores are open today!) and a running route. I had assumed Hubby would watch the kids for a few hours.
Sports broadcasters don’t really get holidays, and Hubby had to spend the day at work. After my early morning shift at the animal shelter (I didn’t forget this week!) the rest of my protected time disappeared.
I found myself alone with the kids, with the whole day looming ahead of us. I tried to rally them for an expedition to the grocery, but, they weren’t too excited about that. There’s Christmas gifts to play with. And it’s freezing out. Even the cats won’t budge from their respective spots on the heater.
So, I’ve tried to be productive. It’s just my nature – I find it really hard to sit and do nothing. Or to sit and do just one thing. When not helping Babyboy with his tiny complicated Legos or new electric train set, or Babygirl with her Frozen jewelry and princess castle, I’ve done a bunch of laundry, dishes, pantry rearrangement, online bill pay, texted some thank-yous, and tried to reach a few old friends on the phone.
The kids and I also read a bunch of their new books, sat together and had a decent lunch, and managed to take down the Christmas decorations.
But this whole time, I’ve had this one thing on my mind. It’s a New Year, and it’s time to make amends. I couldn’t seem to stay busy enough; this thought did not get drowned out, lost between tracks on my workout playlist and errands and driving around. It was there, very strong, in my face.
I don’t have much conflict in my life. It’s been awhile since I’ve felt like I needed to apologize to anyone, or that anyone owed me an apology. A handful of instances come to mind: a lady who yelled at Babyboy in church, years ago; a coworker I had criticized, unfairly; a couple of patients who were upset at me; oh, and Hubby, when I threw cookie dough and eggplant at him (though, not at the same time). In all of these incidents, apologies were made and peace was established.
But there was one conflict this fall that still weighed heavily on me, because there had never been resolution. I’d been thinking and worrying over this for some time. I’m sure both parties were at fault, and that feelings were hurt, though likely unintentionally. I know I didn’t handle the situation well. Actually, in the end, I may have been the bigger jerk.
I had thought that I would have run into this person by now, that some communication would have been forced, and thus the ice would have been broken. But it hasn’t happened.
Today, with the whole day at home, and not much on my agenda, besides all the little tasks I was trying to fill my time with, I just couldn’t stop thinking about this. Maybe it’s because of the new year and the old tradition of making resolutions, starting fresh. Or maybe it’s because of the holidays in general, and the call to let old disagreements go, to embrace all of our friends and family.
I felt like I needed to at least try. So after a bunch of false starts, feeling a little nervous, even queasy, I resolved to make the call. The kids were asking for a T.V. show, and so, on went Frozen. I sat in the kitchen and meditated for awhile. I don’t want to turn off the non-Christian readers here, but, I held my cross and prayed.
Oddly, or maybe not, our niece Katie (who passed away in 2011, at the age of 29) came to mind. I could almost hear her saying, in her special way that was both sassy and kind: Just call already, it’s not a big deal. It’s all going to be okay.
I know, I know, it sounds nuts. But it was only then that I could tap the number. Perhaps mercifully, I got voicemail. I left a message, speaking quietly and slowly, that I was sorry for my part in what was probably a bunch of unintentionally hurt feelings, and I wanted to start the new year off right by reaching out to apologize. That I was happy to talk about it anytime. And Happy New Year.
And then I was alone in the kitchen again, feeling a lot better. I did my part.
So, the kids never left the house today, and I didn’t accomplish many tangible tasks.
But, I feel good about the day.
Happy New Year- and here’s to making peace.