Not-so-divine life appointments need cancelling

I have long been a slave to my calendar. Once I schedule something, it seems there’s no turning back. It might as well be written in blood, for I will strive to accomplish whatever I slated. Even to my own detriment. Even if blood will result.

Back before multi-tasking had a name, I’d already embraced the practice. There was no limit to what I could take on or put upon myself. I’d simply work faster, harder or later, thriving on the adrenaline generated. My ability to accomplish the impossible was how I proved and defined myself.

However, that could last only so long. Eventually, one has to slow down, pay the piper, ante up and perhaps cry “Auntie Em,” an even more desperate plea than “uncle” when you truly need something to stop. In this case, I’m begging, “stop the world, I want to get off!” I’m at my breaking point. Would somebody please call this fight!?

Actually, I reached that point months ago, but the universe either didn’t receive or choose not to acknowledge my distress signal. I continued to cry out, flail my arms skyward and to fire flares, but to no avail. What’s a person got to do to throw in the towel?

In the absence of my cosmic butt-kicking and surrender being noticed, I simply kept going, trudging ahead each day, but feeling increasingly more behind. No reserves left. As the old jingle goes, “My get-up-and-go has got up and gone,” leaving no forwarding address. Unfortunately, my patience and stamina also expired, leaving me running into my calendar like a board into a buzz saw.

This is alike, yet different from when I was a county department head whose chief calendar complaint was boring meetings: everybody always wanting to meet about something. It drove me crazy. But the current scenario is even worse: mandatory appointments of the mostly unavoidable kind!

If “divine appointment” is viewed as a coincidental encounter that God has orchestrated for some specific purpose in our lives, Satan is the conductor of my current calendar crises. It feels like someone is kicking me while I am down. I haven’t yet had the chance to even consider regrouping since my daughter’s stroke a year ago.

The dirty word in my life these days is “appointment.” Everyone seems to want to meet about something that involves me and/or one of my family members. How bad could it be? Well, even if you didn’t ask, you’re gonna hear it:

Since January of this year, I’ve been on calendar overload. I had to attend both children’s wrestling meets and tournaments; conferences for both kids; orthodontics appointments every three weeks for my daughter; annual dental check-ups for all three of us; cavity-filling appointments for the two kids; annual doctor’s appointments for all three of us; three follow-up suspected melanoma surgeries for what was discovered during my check-up – each followed up by a corresponding appointment for removal of stitches and discussion of the respective pathology report; another family member’s neuropsychological assessment;

An informational meeting about a trip abroad for my daughter; a trip to the Secretary of State Office for her state I.D. card; a post office passport appointment for her; an urgent care visit due to possible strep throat; two trips to U of M Hospital to meet with neurologists and infectious disease specialists; a mandatory children’s special healthcare discussion appointment;

Four funerals of friends/relatives; four car repairs; 13 weekly humor columns; one Friend of the Court hearing; three Friend of the Court presentations in another county; three days of jury duty in my own county; twice-a-month church choir rehearsals; playing piano for Wednesday Lenten services; three-county work travel; Fredonia Grange and Union City Sesquicentennial Committee meetings; Athens Follies rehearsals and performances; Young Marines’ Wednesday drill sessions; and a mandatory social work license continuing education course. Did I mention I have a full-time job?

Geez! Get behind me, Satan! No more devil of my doing in the details. Something’s got to give, just not me. Someone else can prop up the world. This Atlas isn’t shrugging, but slumping into a heap before The One who can help. Stay turned for how God leads me out of this mess.

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