Nobody notices the dirty dishes in the sink when the house is on fire.
When we are dealing with a crisis, we focus on the crisis and everything else fades into the background. All of the resources—energy, time, money, attention, etc.—that we normally spend on the every day whateverness of life gets redirected into that situation.
Nearly fourteen years ago, my son was born a few weeks earlier than expected, and there were lots of complications for both of us. His first three weeks of life were quite intense. It was as if the world stopped spinning. I was tending him around the clock, at first as nurses allowed in the hospital and then at home.
His father took time off from work to be there with us. Friends and family came to visit and offer their support. I didn’t run the vacuum or open any mail or worry about the grocery store. I was just with him, this tiny little baby that needed me, waiting for him to be better… until he was, and life slowly returned to a new now-I-have-this-baby-I-didn’t-used-to-have kind of normal. That was me, having a crisis. It came, did its crisis thing, and then went.
There is a huge difference between having a crisis and living in crisis.