"Oh! You're still working??!"
That is invariably the response I receive when I mention work in any conversation. When I confirm that yes, I am still working, the conversant (also invariably) does a 180 and catalogues the merits of continuing to work.
No hard feelings - I totally get it. Truth be told, I would probably be equally as incredulous if the roles were reversed. What I usually share is that it wasn't a decision I ever actually made.
It wasn't a decision I made because we were down at Duke on our whirlwind trip up until Wednesday, September 12th. I was scheduled to go back from maternity leave on Tuesday, September 18th. Around the 16th it was kind of like oh, Tuesday is the 18th - I go back to work that day.
So I did.
|no work post would be complete without an LIRR reference|
I have been incredibly fortunate with the flexibility my company has offered me. I went part-time last June (as part of the negotiation to have a third child) and with Quinn's swallowing issues - which we originally assumed she'd grow out of - they agreed to let me work from home two days while Quinn was with a nanny and in the office one day - Tuesday - while she was with one of our moms.
The plan was to work until I couldn't any longer, based on Quinn's condition.
I find it both cute and insane that I am still naive enough to 'make plans'.
That plan was shot the morning I read - on the train into the city - about Jacob Brooks beginning hospice care. I cried my eyes out the entire walk uptown to my office and made a decision that I just needed to be home.
|these three are reason enough to make the change|
The decision part was pretty easy given Quinn's diagnosis but oh wow, has it been ever difficult to execute.
I like to work. I enjoy it and I like to think I'm fairly good at what I do. I also find that, under normal circumstances, I'm a better mom for working.
But these are not normal circumstances and I am no longer better for working. Instead I long to be with Quinn to capture the moments of clarity she still has rather than feeling like I am only her end-of-life caretaker. And because of the new laws, I am fortunate enough to be able to do so since Quinn, despite her pre-existing condition, can switch health insurances.
It is not without its sadness though. I cleaned out my desk today since I have only one day left in the office and it really hit me how much I am going to miss it. The people, the productiveness, the distraction it has provided during this whole ordeal.
|my view in the morning (that's the MetLife building)|
I start work at 6:30am so I get to see the 'night' skyline
|my other window - that white patch is the Rockefeller Center skating rink|
(those dots are people skating haha)
I've been asked what I plan to do ... You know, later.
I am hereby dispensing of plans for the time being, other than planning to enjoy every possible second I can with Miss Q.
I'm finally learning.