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Column: Remember to breathe when going through a busy week
Shannon Casas
Shannon Casas

Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe. 

I know my brain stem is supposed to do that automatically — and I suppose it does because I haven’t died yet from not breathing. But in certain seasons of life, that all feels a bit less certain.

The pace of things has picked up. I’m staring at a calendar with the following:

  • One basketball practice and one game each week, times two for two boys
  • One night of Scouts a week
  • One morning and one night of church a week
  • Two tryouts a kid for baseball. Two, really? Someone tell me that registration page is wrong.
  • Four therapy appointments a week between all the kids in the house. A different therapist and therapy practice between each appointment.
  • A slew of dentist appointments. I don’t even have them all on my calendar yet.
  • A family event involving one of our kids
  • A social event involving one of our kids
  • An evening work event
  • Our annual foster home re-evaluation

That covers just a couple of weeks in my household. Did I mention I work full time trying to build enough subscriber support to make our local newsrooms sustainable? That’s not hard at all — read sarcasm. Thank you to those who do support us with a subscription — sincerely. 

And thank God for my husband, who ferries the kids around to much of that calendar above, and he makes dinner.

Is this the normal amount of busy? When other people say they’re busy, is this what they mean?

Busyness seems to be our American way of life.

“How are y’all?” “Busy.”

It’s honest. And I don’t want to cut anything from the calendar — unless I could make basketball and baseball not overlap at all. Mostly, I just want more hours in the days. Can the globe slow its spin, give us 30 hours instead of 24? I need at least one more hour just to wind down from the first 24.

You know what else I need to fit in my days? Exercise. Breathing may keep me alive, but so does aerobic exercise, strength training and yoga. Actually, all of that may help regulate my body so it does breathe like it should.

Also, I need time to shop for pants — for the boys this time. Somehow all their pants are too small or have holes in the knees. Are there athletic pants out there with reinforced knees? Because these boys won’t touch jeans. Oh, and at least one of them could use shoes, too, because they wear out the soles inside and out in no time flat. 

Oh, and I need to make sure one of the kids has a costume for museum night at school. And while writing this, I learned another kid needs to go to a play for school.

So, if you see my crew running around, we’re having fun. And we’re exhausted. And if you need me to have the head space to think about open enrollment for medical care or to complete a financial statement proving we don’t rely on foster care per diem income to make ends meet, you might have to wait a minute. And yes, I have to get that statement done for that last bullet on the above list.

Are these complaints all self-imposed? Absolutely. I just want my kids to have fun, learn responsibility and manners, know God loves them, develop skills to handle what life has thrown at them, have healthy teeth and make good friends. Is that too much to ask?

Shannon Casas is director of audience for Metro Market Media, parent company of The Times. She is a North Hall resident.