The end of solitude

My husband and kids giving their Adams family look while visiting our daughter for a swim meet in college.

My quiet weekend alone ended in a flurry of phone calls Sunday afternoon, causing my anxiety to escalate. Poof! I lost the sense of peace just like that.

I was getting inundated with calls from my daughter, my husband, my son and two close friends. From my end, I felt like everybody was venting to me. My daughter was upset with my husband. My husband didn’t understand why our daughter was angry and crying. I wasn’t there so I felt helpless but wanted everyone to be happy.

Then my husband called again and said our daughter took him to the airport, but he was worried about the kids returning the U-haul. He didn’t have the time to do it himself before his flight home. He said the U-haul was difficult to drive, had poor visibility and that it had to be returned quite a distance away on the freeway.

So I took that burden of worry, too. I waited anxiously to hear that the kids returned it and were safely back in their homes.

I juggled with an onslaught of calls. Hanging up on one person to answer the call of another. Calling the person back that I hung up on, so they weren’t offended.

I was looking at news stories on my laptop and read there was a bomb threat and the campus had been evacuated where my son’s girlfriend’s brother was at school. I called my son to let him know. There were three campuses with bomb threats yesterday. Reading the news definitely wasn’t helping me.

The topper was the call back from my son. He said he and his sister were on the side of the freeway with a flat tire. They got the U-haul returned without a hitch, but then had a a blow out on the way back. My daughter was worried she was going to miss her comedy writing class that was scheduled to begin soon. They called AAA and were waiting for the tow truck.

Then my husband called from the Phoenix airport upset because he couldn’t find where he had parked the car after searching for 45 minutes. I took that to mean that it was my fault because I didn’t want to drive him there or pick him up. To be honest, I’m terrified of the freeways here. There are accidents every time I’ve been on them. And always someone driving 100 MPH weaving in and out of traffic. People drive crazy here. My daughter lived here for a year and she said she’d see five wrecks on her drive from Tempe to Scottsdale for work — every single day.

By the time my husband got home, my nerves were fried. I called to check on the kids and they were okay. They were safely back in their homes 700 feet apart. I tried to read and sat outside in the backyard missing the quiet happy feeling that I had bathed in only hours earlier. The peace that defined my weekend vanished as though it was a desert mirage.

Then Monday morning came and my husband woke up with the flu. I called the kids and they said that one of my son’s housemates had the flu. Ugh. I should stay in the casita and turn my phone off. I hope I’m not next for the flu. I haven’t been sick since February 2020.

On to tackle my Monday and back to NaNoWriMo.

Any suggestions on how to handle phone calls where things seem to be spiraling out of control? How do you not let other people’s problems become yours?

13 thoughts on “The end of solitude

  1. The entire time I was reading this, I was thinking: It is not yet Thanksgiving, and it looks like her house is already decorated for Christmas. And THAT is how you deal with those phone calls: focus on something else.

  2. It’s challenging when you’re far away and unable to help. I used to make others problems my own, and I’m still working on it. I’ve learned to be a good listener and try to help them with what they’re going through. But there’s nothing I can do for them to make things better for them. So, in the case of children, I can only hope that I equipped them with the skills to deal with situations like this.

    I’m sorry your husband is sick, I hope he feels better soon.

  3. Unfortunately I think that is the lot of wives and mothers. I struggle with trying to make everyone happy too and am only now (after 37 years of marriage and 3 adult children( coming to the realization that I cannot. I just went away for the weekend and only communicated by text with the family to let them know I was safely at my destination. I know it bothered my husband a bit that I didn’t actually call him but I was enjoying the freedom.

    • I agree that it is a mom and wife thing. I know for a fact my husband doesn’t get the same phone calls from our kids that I do. And if he did, he wouldn’t have the same feelings about them. I enjoyed my weekend alone, too.

  4. Oh, I hear you! So seldom is my stress actually my own! I worry for everybody else. I try to step outside of it. I know God has the problem under control and I do my best to encourage the person whose stress it actually is . Then I pray and watch God work. He hasn’t dropped the ball yet! 😉 (My heart knows this, but my head wants to fret. Its hard when its your family!)

  5. Yeah….this is hard for me too. I tend to be at things when I think it’s going to spiral out, so I can be in charge of the situation. I don’t have any good answer for you

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