Friday, June 27, 2008

Living the Coles notes version

It feels longer than two months since my awesome co-worker left, and I'm still trying to find a rhythm of work and home that functions properly. There just isn't enough time, I'm covering the bases, checking off the major points - shower, work, bedtime stories - and enjoying hardly any of it. It's the Coles notes version of my life.

At work, I'm three weeks behind on some of my administrative stuff, and I go from line 1 to line 2 to the counter, to email, and back to the phone again. I'm doing all right, I'm doing a good job, but I'm so rushed that I'm not getting the sense of accomplishment I would like to feel. I'm only tired.

Then I drive home, trying to shake the vaguely irritable, dissatisfied feelings before I get there, so I can walk in with a smile and enjoy the kids for those two or three precious hours before they go to bed. Work is over now, I am lucky to be going home to such a wonderful family.

I once heard a woman on a tv show remark "If the Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" I remember rolling my eyes, and wondering just who in hell she thought she was, the queen? But now that I have a family, I see what she meant. It wasn't that she wanted everybody kowtowing to her every whim. It's just a simple truth - the household watches the mother. They take their cues from her, they calibrate their sense of peace and wellness according to her mood.

No pressure. (G)

Being away from them so much, I can't help but feel the full import of this priviledge - what an incredible thing, to be so essential to these people. And yet, it can be overwhelming. I don't always manage to get my sh*t together, and those days it's rough knowing that I'm letting them down. They need me.

And then my daughter goes to sleep with her little hand on my face, and I am forgiven, and healed.

But wait...see the calendar? It says that at 6 pm today, the door closes - and it's going to stay that way until Wednesday morning. We're going to my parents' cottage, which is far enough away but not too far, and I will have a break. Four days with no work, no telephone, just the Beloved and my parents and the ocean. We'll do a massive jigsaw puzzle, drink some beer, and laugh a lot.

Thank you, God.

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