We’re studying physics right now, so I have momentum on the mind. You know, p=mv. Momentum equals mass times velocity.

The other day, I had so much momentum I felt like Wonder Woman. I started the day with yoga and writing. Spurred by early success and the blessing of children who slept late, I spent time in prayer and reading before making breakfast. The 7:30 appointment with the repairman actually happened at 7:30 instead of vaguely within a “window from 8-12,” and he was gone before the children woke up.

We were expecting 9 medical students for dinner.


After we planned the menu, one of them mentioned she only eats land animals. Did that mean yes or no to chicken? I wasn’t clear. Two sausage lasagnas turned into one sausage and one half-chicken, half-mushroom and spinach.

One spinach salad with warm bacon dressing turned into two salads. The girls wanted in on the action, so the dessert of berries and whipped cream turned into parfaits made with homemade Lady Baltimore cake.


Rolling along on all this momentum, I even managed to fit in a run. I was the living embodiment of Newton’s first law of motion: bodies in motion tend to stay in motion.


And then this morning a child (who shall remain nameless) confessed that he/she might just have lost one of his/her school books. Several months ago. Then, as Jonah and I were going over a practice test for the National Latin Exam, he said, “This is the test I took last year!” That’s right, I had registered him to repeat the test he took a year ago. And there’s a only week until he’s supposed to take it. My parents came to take my daughters our, and I had several hours alone with the boys. Thinking I would be the fun mom, I suggested we see a matinée movie. They refused to go.

Instead of a rock rolling down a hill, I became a clown pushing a car up a steep hill through a bunch of chimpanzees playing tennis.

Good-bye, momentum. Velocity = zero.

I think this has been many people’s experience this winter. Things were going well until _________ (you fill in the blank: stomach bug, car trouble, virus, unplanned travel, death in the family…)   The trick is how to regain the momentum. How to get the rock moving again.

For me it was going to bed early and starting over the next day, fresh. I did a little exercise, spent some time in prayer, and gave a test push to the rock. It started up the hill.

I’m going to try to ignore the chimpanzees.


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