I’ve been home sick now for four days. Which sucks for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that I am burning through leave time that I was really hoping to save for the arrival of baby girl monkey (note to my past self: sign up for short-term disability, dumbass). I just want to feel better and I want to get back to work.
I was in the drug induced fog of half sleep yesterday morning and lay for a while dreaming (imagining?) multiple versions of the post-pregnancy, post awful infant stage (I love babies, but hoo boy, those first six to eight weeks are not my favorite) of my life. There is the version where I start writing again. I see myself sitting in a coffee shop with the baby at my feet in a car seat, peacefully sleeping. I am writing and jostling the car seat with my foot when she fusses and I’m making a world with words.
There is the version where I am super committed to racing again. I see myself dropping the baby and the kiddo off at the childcare center at the YMCA and hitting the pool where I swim lap after lap, strokes smooth and strong across the surface of the water.
There is the version where I’m back in school, starting and finishing the doctorate degree that I need to earn if I want to move to the next level of my career. This version assumes, I guess, that I’ve decided that I do in fact want to move higher up the ladder. In this version I’m writing, but papers and articles and not stories. I’m armed with highlighters and theories and marching toward becoming Dr.Monkey.
And I want, at various times and to various degrees, all of these versions. And yet I know that the most realistic version is that I’m working at my job, a job that I am profoundly grateful to have and that I am good at,but that seems to fill any available space I have. I see working late and then rushing home at night to see two kids and a husband that already doesn’t get enough of my attention. I probably keep watching too much TV and reading too little and writing not at all.
I don’t know if I am pessimistic about the whole myth of work/life balance or just pessimistic about my ability to make it happen.