I walked into the office today and almost immediately found myself rooting through my purse, looking for a bottle of ibuprofen and shaking four of the bright orange pills into my palm before chasing them down with a swig of lukewarm tea. I sat at my desk and got to work, waiting for that moment when the ibu would kick in, trying to cross little things off my list so as to start my day feeling productive.
Headache fading, into a meeting. Conference call, sales pitch, snake oil. Off the call, another discussion, one that should have been a relief but only made me frustrated. The headache creeped back in. Another several ibuprofen swallowed down with a gulp of ice water.
My to-do list was full and I was getting things done but I was upset about the meeting – a discussion about when my job would be moving to part time.
Side note: Occasionally I question whether or not to even post about it should my employer decide to read my blog – HI GUYS! – but then again, they know what they’ve said and they know the situation, and as Anne Lamott says, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.” And it’s not that I’m writing… not warmly. But to not write about something that is on my mind quite a bit would be to censor my writing even more than I would typically – and frankly, who WOULDN’T be upset at the looming future of no longer having full time work? So, yeah. There you go.
I have been given an extension of full time work – through the end of May now and while I am relieved, I admit that there’s frustration too, that each month has been a guessing game, that while none of us in the workforce in this economy ever have true job security, I’ve wondered each month if THIS is it, if that is the end of the line. I am seeking solutions to the part time work problem – trying to ensure that I’m able to get by. It’s not easy and so I’m frustrated a lot, stressed a lot, a little bit anxious.
And so I keep trying to put one foot in front of the other, and I try to not complain too much and I try (really, I’m trying) to be grateful for what’s good because it could be so much worse, and I know it.
But some days I am overcome by the extent of which I cannot control my life, by the extent of which I really just don’t have a clue right now, and on those days – OH THOSE DAYS – my head aches with the pressure of two very large hands squeezing the side of my head until my skull caves in, my brain compresses, and I consumeall of the ibuprofen.
Some days just aren’t easy.
And when Pumpkin’s school called and said she didn’t feel well, I needed to come get her, it was almost a relief to gather up my projects and bring them home and sit on the sofa, wrapped in blankets, nestled near my girl, cartoons chattering in the background, getting work done on my laptop instead of under the glow of fluorescent light. Without the hum of conversations in nearby cubicles. Without the chill of the constant air conditioning even though the temperature outside didn’t even reach 6o today.
Despite the pounding in my head, I’d have stayed in the office until the end of the day. Despite my discomfort and my own feelings of blah — but my daughter and her blah trumped mine.
Life has a weird way of telling me, sometimes, to step back, to breathe deeply and to just be a little kinder to myself amidst the chaos. Sometimes life has to find more creative ways of telling me, I guess.
This evening, I bought myself a bouquet of tulips and a bottle of wine. The wine is in my fridge – funny, I’m too tired for it now, but some day this week I’m sure I’ll be glad that Tuesday Sarah knew that Future Sarah would want a glass after one of those days. I tucked in my daughters. Now, I settle in with HGTV and I write, talking myself into calm so tomorrow I can get back to life, and keep on getting things done.