Michael was out of town so I was playing the role of single mom. He returned on Friday, just in time to celebrate his 31st birthday. And, as I mentioned previously, it was one of the most significant weeks of my professional life. I spent most of the week running - from one meeting to the next, from work to daycare to home to daycare to work - and trying to keep my head above water. I think I managed to do pretty well overall, though I have to admit to several dinners of beer and cereal and falling asleep in front of my computer once or twice (thankfully that was while doing work at home in the evenings, not midday in the office).
So, needless to say, this weekend has been about recovery. There are things I need to do - our taxes, for example. Or unloading the dishwasher. Or cleaning up the kitchen. Or making a grocery list. Or even reading. But instead I've just been sitting still, enjoying the sunshine in our beautiful new play room, and having some quiet time while Alice naps.
In order to keep my head above water lately, I feel like I've let a few important things slide. I don't really know what's going on in the world, beyond revolt after revolt after revolt. And I have too many friends to whom I owe emails or phone calls. The danger in falling to far behind in these things is that it is far too easy to become boring, to have nothing to discuss beyond work and Alice, and to grow lonely.
I keep telling myself that this pace is just a temporary thing, that it reflects the phase of life we are in, that eventually it will get easier to maintain relationships beyond the two most important in my life - the ones with my husband and my baby. But really I think I just need to carve out the space for other things. I don't think life gets slower - you just prioritize differently.
Perhaps this is my goal for Lent. Finding a way to better balance all the things in my life, to find energy for things beyond the day-to-day demands of life.
As a PS, I am happy. I am in love. I am finding fulfillment professionally as well as personally. I just wish each day had 40 hours in it!
I'm sorry I've been so MIA this year. It's been a hectic few months, dominated by professional lives and sick babies. I spend a lot of the day running around right now, but I'm so happy doing it. Alice is at such a joyful age - spending lots of time giggling and smiling and gobbling down whatever food you put in front of her. She's starting to demonstrate preferences for certain foods (frozen blueberries and cut up grapes trump EVERYTHING). She's just such fun!
Today was a big day for me, professionally. I had two big meetings, with senior staff at the DOH, including the Commissioner. It's strange to realize that I'm at that point in my career where these events should happen more regularly. I'm no longer the youngest staff member in the office (though I was definitely at least 6 years younger than anyone else in the Commissioner's office today!). It's thrilling to be at such a fun level in my professional life - and thank God, since it comes at such a high price right now.
Another night I will write a longer post about this, and about how I'm missing Michael as he's off at a conference in Florida this week. But tonight I'm crawling to bed...
It's Valentine's Day! We celebrated with chocolates from Cocoa Mills and carrot cake from La Casa Dunn. It has been a delicious evening, despite an attempt to destroy it by tossing a glass bottle full of olive oil on the kitchen floor. I feel like a very lucky lady.
I also celebrated by staying home from work! It has been a rough few weeks in our household, between all the sicknesses and stresses of work. So a day with a nanny and without an office to trek to sounded like a very good plan indeed. While I didn't get everything on my list completed (as evidenced by an actual picture of my actual list --- yes, I make lists of tasks for vacation days), I did feel like I had time to Get Things Done, as well as time to read and rest. My incredibly thoughtful brother bought me a gift certificate to get a massage for mother's day last May, and I finally redeemed it today. Heavenly.
Here it is, the end of another long day. My list of completed chores is long, but the list of things to do is longer. How is that possible? No need to complain - life is good for an employed, happily married mommy! But a baby with an ear infection and a work life that never quits is exhausting as well as fulfilling.
In other news, our good friends John & Anna had another baby girl!! Penelope is adorable and, in the blink of an eye, our New York City family has expanded. Alice is incredibly curious about the latest addition, and was riveted by her today.
Alice seems destined for middle-child-syndrome during this phase in her life. She's in love with Naomi, John & Anna's older daughter (11-months Alice's senior). Alice chases Naomi all over the place, even as Naomi screams "No!" Penelope just seems like a new toy. It's so touching to watch these little babies start to learn about one another, to see their fascination with other children, other beings their size and shape.
What a joy to have other friends to share this stage of life with! We are so blessed.
(And, as I write this, another friend is in labor. Sending good thoughts her way...)
"But when she stepped off the train in New York, her plain little face looked beautiful for a moment, as if the future were opening before her and its glow were already upon her forehead, as if she were eager and proud and ready to meet it..."