When I leave the house at 6:48, the air is black and immobile, still bated with sleep, icy. I tiptoe across the half-frozen grass in wobby feet unaccustomed to high heels, and will myself not to tip over under the weight of my laptop bag, gym clothes, duffel coat.
I’ve made lunches and loaded laundry the night before, but I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve forgotten something and after I’ve acquired my Starbucks latte (can’t turn on the nespresso machine at home in the morning, lest the baby wake up), the memory slaps my forehead.
“Mom,” I mutter, and hit her number on the car stereo. She’ll rescue me, she always does.
“Mom. I forgot the money for Nolan’s book fair today. Can you run cash down to him?”
She does. And, I find out later, she brings a bag of chicken breasts too, and some cranberry bran muffins for the boys. And while I commute downtown, Corey wakes up slowly, packs Nolan’s lunch in his backpack, reminds him for the sixth time to remember his coat. He picks up discarded cheerios and tosses diaper bags out the window and I arrive at the office at just before 7:30, in icy high heels, sporting a mysterious fruit leather stain on the side of my skirt.
I’ve worked full time from home for the last seven years, with just two months off after I had Jude in 2012. I thought I had balance down pretty decently: I was able to work out every day, keep the house clean, finish my calls and proposals and hang out with my kids and husband on a fairly acceptable level. There weren’t a lot of extra hours for lolling on the couch, but I’m not much of a loller, anyway.
But the hour and a half round trip commute has definitely thrown my carefully crafted balance into a wildly spinning mayhem. I can’t really work out at lunch anymore, and I can’t change back into my sweatpants. I can’t run down the street to Nolan’s school if he’s forgotten his warm gloves, and I’m not able to get up between calls to put the whites in the dryer. Corey is amazing but his acceptable levels of messiness are not the same as mine and when I get home from work the chaos hurts my skull.
I feel like I have all these little fluttery paper pieces of life floating from my brain, and I’m running around, tossing them back in there, but each time I toss I create a wind and flurry up a bunch more, inciting them to sprinkle out again.
Something has to fail everyday: my fitness, my family, my work, or the state of my house. Usually, these past two weeks, it’s been the state of my house. ( My car got towed from my work last week and my Mom had to watch the boys till I could make it home because Corey was coaching…and all she could find Nolan to eat was a red pepper and half an English muffin. So you know.) And of all those things, I guess house cleanliness/stockedness is the least important, right? I’m flailing, is what I’m saying. And hoping that eventually it just smoothly comes together.
Last two burning items:
1) I really love my new job so far. The people are brilliant, helpful, and quirkily likeable. My team is 99% young guys, and I feel like a grizzled newspaper veteran, but they are super good to me and the product itself is truly revolutionary. I’m stoked to sell it.
2) On traffic. There’s shitloads of construction in Vancouver right now, and a lot of people waiting patiently in line to get to the lights. If you spot an asshole driver who cuts the line into the construction lane to try to get out of waiting his turn, do you sigh and let him in or stubbornly pull up your car tight to the one in front of you to not let him in because he should wait his turn too, dammit?