From Spreadsheets to Bedsheets
Originally published in MetroParent, May 2009
l am trying to carve out a new identity for myself. Before my job of a couple of
decades was eliminated last summer in yet
another "corporate reorganization," I was an income-producing parent in a male-dominated workforce - a woman who adapted
to being judged by the bottom line. Eating
lunch with the IT nerds suited me. I secretly
enjoyed not having
|This could not be possible if my husband's
income hadn't risen as mine was being
eliminated. I know that. But with two
teenagers who sometimes find my very presence
annoying, I also don't
want to feel
as irrelevant as soap-on-a-rope. However, it sure is nice to do something
other than cut-and-paste minutia from one spreadsheet to another or maintain the integrity of a very old database every day.
It's taken a while to get the knack of staying home. I still don't have it quite right. Sometimes I wonder if I should be creating a fancy chore chart instead of reading A Nation of Wimps. But some days there's a nice little rhythm to settle into. And I notice things I previously overlooked. Like how frequently the dog likes to be let outside. Or how messy my daughter's room was until I cleaned and organized it with chic linen storage bins from Target. I catch myself peering in her room to gaze at my work.
I like how it feels when the beds are made. I also see that the same pile of clothes has sat on the ironing board for a year, still wrinkled, and the lint trap in the dryer fills up quickly. Sundays don't have the same feeling of dread they used to - and orthodontist appointments aren't squeezed into work schedules. I don't rush home from work anymore, defying the speed limit, to fix dinner or pick up my son from basketball. And I see a PTSA meeting in my future. Maybe.
So is this better than working? I don't know. I do like it. It seemed I moved faster when I was working. I got more done and some days felt like the epitome of efficiency. But I'm enjoying this slower pace. It's different from what I was accustomed to. Maybe different is enough for now.
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