Recuperating from Hospitality Overload

I finally felt “UP” yesterday…I have felt “down” for the past two weeks. Today I have energy and vitality and spark again!

Two weeks ago when Hannah visited, I overcrowded the week and wore myself out. I had some major work projects that fell that week…speaking briefly at my church on Sunday, speaking at the rally at the State House on Monday, media committee meeting Thursday night, and giving a presentation to 45 high schoolers on Sunday. I didn’t realize till those things were over how very much they had been stressing me out. Even though I can do my teen workshop in my sleep now, and I love doing them, preparing to get up in front of people makes me tense and irritable.

I feel really badly that those all fell the same week as Hannah came. I also tried to pack in AS MUCH FUN AS POSSIBLE! So we were going-going-going. The next time we get together, I’m going to schedule nothing but sewing, dancing, watching movies, eating, shopping…dang it, see? There I go again.

The week culminated in Matthew’s Super Bowl Party of His Life dot com. He had told me he wanted to have one and asked if I could help…I told him I couldn’t do much since Hannah would be visiting, but that I would straighten up the house and make a huge pot of chili.

Saturday night came, and we sat down to talk logistics. I asked Matthew to go over the RSVP list and it went on and on…neither of us had realized till then that 30 adults were planning to come, along with 8 children. We have a smallish apartment with only one bathroom. Matthew realized he had literally invited too many people. The thought of almost 40 humans crammed into my home sent me into an internal panic. And I realized that after the crazy week we’d had, “straightening up” the house would take hours, and we would need a lot more food than a pot of chili.

Hannah and Matthew both helped a ton, and Dan and Jenn came over early to help with last minute prep, and by the time 5:30 rolled around, we had 6 screens (laptops and TVs) set up throughout the house, chairs dispersed, drinks filling three coolers, and snacks spread out on the table. Total count ended up being 33 people. It took the rest of the next week to clean up, but we also got comments all week long about how much everyone had enjoyed the party.

By the time I had recovered myself and the house, it was time to get ready for a baby shower I was co-hosting with my friend Bekki (thankfully at her house, not mine!) on Saturday the 7th. The mom (Onalee) is doing the nursery in a circus motif, which provided a great party theme (most of the guests had all been involved in a couples Bible study for several years, so we’ve done SO many baby showers for each other that we were running out of themes and games!).

Katherine got sick on Thursday, and especially after staying up till almost 3 am Friday night getting ready for the party and catching up on other things, I was very sick myself by Saturday afternoon. (Joshua was a huge help – he actually slept 7.5 hours straight Friday night! 11 pm to 6:30 am) I doped up on cold medicine and ringmastered the party, but by the time it was over I was a wreck. Jenn took care of me afterward since the significant others were mostly all playing video games at my house still. I got worse and worse, and she realized I was in no condition to drive, so she had Dan bring Matthew to drive me home.

I spent Sunday in bed…Matthew left for church giving Katherine instructions to stay in her room till Mommy got up. By the time I did, around 1:30, K was naked (?) in the living room and Cheerios covered the floor in 70% of the house. (Sweeping was a small price to pay for that blessed sleep.) Then Katherine and I watched Back to the Future movies till bedtime.

So I’ve spent this week so far recuperating from the sickness and decompressing from all the hospitality. We’re mostly all well now, except for Joshua, who has a terrible stuffy nose.

Gwyn put it really well when I told her about the Super Bowl party: “wow. that is a becky nightmare + fantasy. the hospitality! but the PEOPLE! but the hospitality! and the cooking! but the PEOPLE, and muffliato isn’t WORKING!”

I think God knew He had to give me the gift of hospitality to combat my introvertedness, or I would live in constant disobedience. As it is, the two work in tension with each other, causing me to cycle through wearing myself out and recuperating. Hopefully I’ll continue to work toward finding a better balance.

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  • gwyneth

    i still think you are crazy. i share with people when they are in need…one on one…or secretly…(NOT HAVING TO TALK TO PEOPLE…FTW! plus there’s the whole my right hand is giving in secret…YESSS! thing. see…God made provisions for introverts!) and i even have people over…again, in smaller doses. then i still like them when they leave.

  • hannahbarton

    I’m glad you are feeling better. You really do take more on than anyone I know.

  • theshindels

    Poor Becky! Poor Joshua! We’ve been fighting our fair share of colds and flus…we’ll I’ve been fighting them. I remember when Adon was 6 weeks old and had a stuffy nose. Our chiropractor checked him out, since I was afraid the pediatrician would only give him antibiotics. He showed us some great accupressure points and some sinus massage that helped break up his congestion and move it out of his tiny little body. In addition, (I know this sounds horrible, so Jeremy did it) we squirt breastmilk up his nose a few times with a nose syringe. The antibodies and all kinds of other good stuff in the breastmilk helped him get better in just a couple of days. Let me know if you want any details on either remedy! Get well soon, both of you!

  • Douglasschloss

    Hmmmmm.  God is not one to frustrate His giftings.  Time to ask specifically for a bigger, more accomodating living space. (Then you can both hospitate and find a quiet place to recharge.)

  • daniellehanley

    Glad to hear that you’re feeling better. Sounds overwhelming, but mostly in a good way. Hope you took a picture of the Cheerios!

  • airborneschloss

    It sounds like some pampering time is required. I highly suggest both daughters and grandchildren come to Grandma Castle’s for some R & R. I will not schedule anything but relaxing time together and lots of Grandma time with my grandchildren (hence giving mommies time off!).

    Balance, my dear daughter. There are many things that are good, but I encourage you to select only the BEST!

    Will see if I can’t slip away for a week in March to come up and help out (and get my mom/grandma needs satisfied)!

  • stforever

    WOW! Sounds like you have been nothing short of Wonder Woman lately. I’m glad the parties went well, but so sorry you got ill. I’m glad you are better, and pray little Joshua feels better soon.

    I’m much like you. I am naturally introverted, but love to be hospitable and have people over. I don’t have the opportunity to do it as much as I would like, but hopefully that will change. I really do enjoy it.

    When you mentioned what Katherine did, I had a flashback to Charity. There are many mornings where I find her with her sleeper and diaper completely off when I come to her door. I just pray that I won’t come in to a horrible mess one morning! :)

    Thanks for the anniversary wishes. We didn’t do anything huge this year. Just a nice dinner, flowers, etc. Tony got a 15% paycut so we are taking things easy. We also can’t do too much with a 2 year old. We had a good time though, and enjoyed our day with Charity.

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