life was humming along like a newly installed operating system. my project work was on schedule. i was well-rested. i actually saw days, a few of them even, where my daily goals were met and i had an hour, a free hour on my hands. in these astonishingly rare moments, i slid my book from the shelf and sank into a couch corner for a guilt free hour of recreational reading. through all of my systems and processes, these are the moments i'm so effortfully chasing.
getting in this steady clip was extra important because i was due to have knee surgery the following week and would be sidelined—and drugged—for a day or two. i worked hard to enter this planned downtime in a sane, comfortable mindset. then with surgery six days out, my office phone rang. it was worded as a professional favor but proved to be more of an emergency. my next five days (a saturday and sunday included) were completely fouled. it was like a monsoon destroyed my picked up house and manicured lawn. any pre-existing order was devastated.
the end came at 3pm the day before my surgery. at 1pm this same day my doctor's office called and said they had to move my slot from 2pm to 6am. at first i was elated because this took my fasting-period from fourteen hours to a mere seven. child's play. but when i called marty with the change i could see her body sag over the phone as she said, "but i had all the kids covered for 2pm. how am i supposed to get someone at five in the morning?" oh. yes. that.
i'll skip over the four hours marty spent scrambling for a solution and just move to what she came up with. a neighbor i work with had told marty of a service we have through our employer benefits. it's essentially subsidized, emergent care for children and aging parents. the neighbor had expressed great satisfaction with this service. marty called me and told me to to call them to set up an account. so at 5:30pm i registered with this company. at 6pm marty called them and described our 5am need, now a mere eleven hours away. they said they were on it and we would hear back by 10pm.
at 9:30 i was certain we were going to get the "sorry we tried but we just didn't have enough notice" call. instead the phone rang an 9:45. a confident voice introduced herself as emily and said she would be watching our children in the morning. after my expressions of relief, she went on to ask a series of questions so cogent, i started taking notes for future reference. pets. allergies. name of the kids' school. neighbors names. my destroyed house was beginning to look much better. and the next morning this girl, emily, arrived on the dot. she even cleaned the breakfast dishes, put away the couch that marty had pulled out for her to sleep on until the kids woke up, and left us a debrief on the backside of the note marty left her.
oh, and one thing i didn't mention in all of this is that during the initial bum-rush of mayhem, our refrigerator stopped worked (and would be in that non-working state for eleven days.)
oh, and one other thing. the service we were so happy with is called bright horizons and if you have access/ability to use them, i'd recommend them. highly.