When the chips are down...

Chips (french fries) lying on a wooden boardThis week I've had pause to consider our own daily routine. Mostly I've had pause because I, along with every member of the clan, have been down with a virus. Day to day we generally manage just fine: we have the resources we need to meet regular demands, we operate in a way that is meaningful to us, everyone's needs get met: well, we don't all get exactly what we want when we want it, but you know, we manage, and we generally know what's going to happen and when.

This week it went to hell in a handbasket.

Most of us were struggling with the energy to get out of bed, and some of us went straight back there at the earliest opportunity. Some had to be dug out of bed to take others to places of educational attainment, discos, soccer training, or the bus stop. The asthmatics amongst us have gotten through a LOT of ventalin, and we have single handedly covered this month's rent at the local chemist (I expect the certificate of appreciation to go up any day).

Things became unpredictable: we never knew who was going to spike the next fever, and so we all spent a lot of time and energy feeling foreheads and looking suspiciously at each other. We ran out of bread, fruit and cereal and we couldn't quite muster the energy to care, much less do anything about it.

And yet somehow we have managed to keep it going. Others have stepped in for us and filled gaps. Employers have granted days off, grandparents have cared for the juniors (before they got it too), and employees have picked up the slack. We have had friends cook for us, both meals and potions ideal for a ferocious, rib-cracking cough (let me know if you'd like the recipe for this restorative liquor!) We have had sympathetic medical advice and are grateful for the assistance we have received.

If you're like us, most days and weeks, you somehow make it all fit. But when the demands increase and the resources are thinned therein lies the test of your daily routine. Can you find the extra you need to keep it all going?

Sometimes, the household budget is so stretched that additional demands mean something, or lots of things, snap. I'm not talking about the financial budget (although it may be that too), but the time, energy or services you need so you can keep doing what you need to do everyday.

At Dinner on the Table we aim to add a bit of flex to your everyday budget by taking care of one of the big jobs. We'd love to hear your stories of what it does for you.