Disappointment and Worry

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Through petitions and praises, turn worry into prayer, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything working together for good, will come in and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Summing it up, friends, I’d say you’d do best by filling your minds and meditate upon things that are true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, and gracious–the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse… –Philippians 4:6-8

Over the last few weeks I’ve been memorizing these verses, so if some of the words are slightly off, that’s why. There’s some more that I haven’t yet memorized, but the part I have memorized has been valuable to keep meditating on, given the last couple weeks.

So you know I had a good solid fail at work last Friday. I’ve gotten over it, mostly, except for a lingering feeling of inadequacy and misery, a feeling I know from prior experience will go away with time. We were really looking forward to this week, though, and here’s what we had planned:

Monday and Tuesday were normal. Then, on Wednesday, Mom would pick Benji up from school early and the two of them would fly to California for a five-day trip visiting my Nana and sister and brother-in-law. I can’t even describe how eagerly Ian and I anticipated this reprieve. Whole days of caring only for ourselves! Time to spend together! Time to spend alone!

I also looked forward to getting to work at 6:20 those extra days to get a lot accomplished towards the upcoming release, which is next Thursday, the 22nd. Because of some factors outside my control, I’ve had less time than usual at work to get my release documentation written, and I really looked forward to the extra time… and to not worrying about what time I left work.

Normally I’m constantly torn between trying to eke as much time at home with Benji as I can, and, on the other hand, equally eking out as much time at work as I can so I can get my tasks done. The same is true every time I go out for a ride: balancing the time at home with Benji vs. riding time. I really eagerly anticipated having this pressure taken away for even just a few days.

Then on Monday Benji came down with a high fever–101 under his armpit. I ended up meeting Ian and Benji at the ER, but we didn’t end up staying to be seen. Instead, we headed home to just wait and see what happened.

What happened was, so far, two more days of relentless fever and lethargy. All Benji wants to do is lay on the couch; if the ibuprofen is working, he’ll watch a video; if it’s wearing off, he just wants to lay quietly and be left alone. Just having someone nearby is enough.

It walks like the flu, it quacks like the flu; I think it’s the flu. I didn’t get him a flu shot this year because I was at work and I kept forgetting. Now I’m kind of regretting that, even though I know the flu shot is only minimally effective this year. Regardless, now we’re in the middle of it, and we have to ride this bronco until it throws us.

Benji is miserable, and I feel very sorry for him. I know that feeling very well, and I’m so sorry he has to go through it. He’s hanging in there, though, and subsisting primarily on the “awesome sauce” apple sauce he got for Valentine’s Day from one of the teachers (delivered to us by the generous Nana delivery service).

But what this means is that instead of getting extra time on our own, we’ve instead taken away from even the usual amount of time. Instead of bonus time, we’ve…what’s the opposite of bonus? We’ve got minus time, I guess. Because so far Ian’s taken one day off work to stay with Benji, and I’ve taken one day off work to stay with Benji, and now Ian’s taking a second day off today… and what do you think are the odds that I’ll be taking Friday off?

Remember that release I have looming in a week? And all that writing I need to do to be ready for it? Take away two work days from my prep time, and I’m really starting to feel the pressure.

Plus, what do you think the odds are that Ian and I will both be able to remain healthy and flu-free after caring for Benji this week? And when would we start getting sick? That’s right: middle of next week, right about the time of my release.

  • If Ian gets sick, I’ll have to pick up the slack, and that means I can’t be at work on release night until 7:00 or 8:00 pm.
  • If I get sick, I know from having the flu before that I’ll be wiped out for a solid seven to 10 days, with a much longer time to full recovery. There goes not only my release, but also all the hard work I’ve put in biking for the last year as I recovered from pneumonia last December.

It’s pretty hard to displace worry with Christ at the center of my life right now, I’m not gonna lie.