Tuesday, August 29, 2006

So much for so long

Well. Today is the first real "day off" I've had under my new work arrangements. The morning was kind of hectic getting the girls ready to make the school bus on time while Rob and I were also preparing to leave the house. I had an early appointment with my foot doctor, so Lindsay and I headed out together much earlier than I would like for a day when I'm not working. One of the big reasons for me to scale back at work is just that life has been too frenetic for too long.

With Pilar here it was nearly manageable because she was capable of handling some of the household management stuff and she and I naturally seemed to have the same kinds of expectations about how/what/when things should be done so very much of it didn't have to be articulated. She just really behaved like a responsible family member and became a critical part of the delicate balance we had struck. This was really important because things have been rough for me...and others I care about very much.

In the last six years, so much has happened in my life. Rob's too, but this isn't his blog. Here's a list of the biggies:

Three pregnancies, two babies
Anna's NICU stay at birth...
Mom's heart attack at Lyman's wedding
Beth's diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
Resignation of old crappy job
Accepting current, extremely demanding job
Chemo, two bone marrow transplants
Beth's passing---
Lots and lots of reproductive health issues for me, two surgical interventions and finally a hysterectomy
Rob's sudden and near fatal health crisis
Rob's continuing health challenges

There have been about a dozen or so other less consequential things but these are the ones that really have taken a toll on me. Pilar leaving our family brings some emotional challenges as well. In addition to being very close to her, she was the stabilizer for me---it was her presence in my household that kept me feeling like I could manage the craziness of work, family and these crises.

One of my greatest hopes for this time of working less is to allow myself some time to just be. To think about where we've been, about the things that have happened. I don't know a single woman with three young children who works in the kind of demanding position that I do full time. I'm thinking more and more that the reason for this isn't because those families don't enjoy the income or that the women are motivated differently than I am. It might be because its not really possible to perform adequately in both roles in these circumstances.

Me and LaLa
So today it was me and Lindsay all alone. With the dogs of course. We went to the mall and got her ears pierced; she did great with it, not a single tear although she was clearly unhappy about it. She loves the earrings and insists they don't hurt a bit. We had an Orange Julius and pretzels before coming home where I've managed to accomplish very little. Not even a single knit or purl. I think I hope to get more stuff done on my days home in the future but seriously---I'm going to keep the pace slow and the pressure down. You know what James Taylor said: "Try not to try too hard, its just a lovely ride." I think that's true but I'd sure like to feel it a little more.

There she goes...
Mary McL is off to college either Wednesday or Thursday. Oh, I wish I could be there with her for a few days. I'm so happy for her, so proud of her. I hope she allows herself to have some fun. I think I'll go see her in about a month. I'm hoping for a chance to see the rest of Beth's kids soon, too. Its been a long summer without them.

I miss Tracy, Daniel and Jeff, too. I guess there's no chance I'll see them before next summer. Its a good thing I love Rob and these girls, eh?

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