Last night I met up with some former coworkers, including a few who had flown in from Europe for a big client meeting. One of them has two young sons (we joke that our children will marry someday…I am actually somewhat serious – surely European men are more chivalrous than American, non?) and she was asking me how it felt to stay home.
She and I worked closely for 3+ years right after I returned from my first maternity leave. We had a huge demanding new client, I had a new baby, and they were easily some of the toughest times of my life. So I always feel a close bond with her that we somehow managed to survive.
But we are also very different, in that she is always operating at 100+ miles per hour. She thrives on it. She’s crazy smart and successful, and has endless amounts of energy. Even when she was on maternity leave, she was responding to emails at an hourly rate. In the middle of the night. She truly cannot unplug or slow down.
I, on the other hand, loved to unplug from work when I could. When I hit the “off” button, sometimes I worried I would forget to turn it back on. I was desperately craving a slower pace and near the end, was struggling to give a damn about going to work.
So when she tells me she is curious because she has considered if she should stop working too, part of me wants to tell her, “Yes! It’s the best! More time with the kids, more time to just be, and enjoy the little things.”
But knowing her, and knowing that some days I even struggle with the change of pace or the monotony of staying home, part of me thinks I should tell her, “Dear Lord do NOT leave your job. You will go insane at home.” But that sounds horrible or like a huge judgmental assumption, doesn’t it?
I think I may have inadvertently addressed the issue and thwarted her interest anyway, when she asked, “So what do you DO all day? What’s a typical day look like?”
I felt pretty well occupied up until a couple weeks ago, but admit that recently I have been asking myself the same question.
So my response?
“I made gyro meat.”
What the hell? She just stared at me for a second. So I continued to blather on about how exactly I made it, as if it was riveting.
She and the others were very sweet and supportive of this landmark achievement, but there was an undercurrent of “Geezus that sounds dreadful” in the air. Who knows – maybe that’s just what I was thinking.
I’m just glad I didn’t tell her I’ve also been taking pictures of my cooking by the toilet and then putting them on the Interwebs.
Either way, I need to work on my talking points for the next time I get that question. And I think I’m ready to find a few out-of-the-house activities to engage in.
BUT – most importantly, let me show you a picture of that gyro meat. Because seriously – it was impressive.
That just looks like a big turd. Let me show you another one – as served on the plate.
Good job, me.