This was my first week back at work full-time, and even with Monday being a federal holiday with schools and daycare open so I got to catch up on the one million errands I didn't get to do before starting work because of the snow and then the vacation, it was a WEEK in all caps italics and extra bold. In fact there were so many emotions and so much exhaustion and on at least one evening so many homemade Mexican martinis that I couldn't even manage a sufficient amount of perspective to be able write about it. In my semi-anonymous non-facebook linked blog. A place where very little mental or emotional distance is needed to write about anything.
So here I am, on Saturday, post-ass-kicking barre workout, and pre-belated-Valentine's sushi date night (non-pregnant me who just now clawed her way back into pre-pregnancy skinny jeans by doing lots of the exercise and eating none of the cookies (or much of anything else) will be eating ALL the raw fish and drinking nearly all the alcohol until happy hour ends. And then going to barre tomorrow), trying to figure out how to put it all into words before Cora gets up from her nap. Or maybe not? When in the midst of a rough patch it seems imperative for me to write about the roughness, to break it into all its prickly parts, excise the bad feelings, and hope to find some closure by the time the publish button is pressed. But now that I've come through it, I wonder if I should stay in the happy now and talk about the beautiful new purse I bought for my birthday instead. But then I feel dishonest, sharing only the good and skipping over the bad, which shouldn't really matter since it's my blog and I can share whatever I want, but it does matter, because this is my story and I've never purposefully and completely skipped a bad chapter before.
And so. On Tuesday, while dressed in my favorite new dress I bought to ease the pain of returning to the non-yoga-pantsed world, approximately 1 hour before the end of my first 8 hour day, I got a call I've been waiting for for ten months, regarding a case I've been working on for twenty-two. Nearly every thing I've done in my new job- all the testimony, travel, presentations, memos, etc. have related to this case, and this one call from another division within my organization would tell me if I could proceed with filing an action. And I was told I could not, for reasons that are complicated and simple and completely confidential. And though I had just been joking with a coworker about this fabled call, telling him that at this point I just wanted to know the answer and didn't even care (much) what it was, I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. My mouth opened, nothing came out, and the caller had to ask twice if I was there because I realized with panic that if I spoke out loud my voice would probably break. I managed a thanks for letting me know, let's talk in more detail later, and hung up, staring at the receiver for minutes after doing so. I could not believe how much it hurt. Not personally, the decision had nothing to do with me, but just in some vague all-consuming general way. I'd worked REALLY hard on that case for a really long time. It essentially represented my entire career at the SEC so far and now I was going to have to draft the closing memo, file it, ship all my documents and binders off to storage, and start over with an empty desk. No stat, no public result, no nothing. And then I had to walk out of my office and go tell my boss, my boss's boss, and my boss's boss's boss, all separately in a voice that didn't shake, and then go pick up my three children at two places, smile and ask about their days, hold a very tired but not allowed to go to bed yet Cora while making dinner, putting away lunch boxes, and hurriedly serving the dinner before Landon's 6:30 basketball practice. JP ran in, grabbed Landon, went to basketball, and I played with Claire and Cora while desperately wishing I was curled in a ball on the couch with a glass of wine and a mindless book or TV show or both.
At 8, all the kids were in bed, and I got to tell JP about my day, and then by 9 we were careening towards a very big, very bad fight over something that is no one's fault, can't really be fixed, and hurts us both any damn time it comes up. An ultimate no-win situation that had nothing to do with my day at work, but sure as hell didn't help it and resulted in my skipping dinner, drinking a second martini in the bathtub to calm myself down enough to take a sleeping pill and pass the fuck out before anything else could happen or I could say anything else I'd deeply regret. It worked.
Cora, bless her multiple chins, slept a solid 12 hours and the rest of the week proceeded from there. Not as bad as Tuesday, but not really much better. I am still adjusting to getting home and starting dinner on my own with the three kids. JP's business is booming, which is fantastic on all levels except the not home until 15 minutes before bedtime one. It really wouldn't be so hard except for this little mini phase we're in with Cora where she is just waking up from her last nap when I get her at daycare, so she needs to eat as soon as we get home, rendering me unable to do anything, and then when I can actually start cooking, she's fussy and tired and wants to go to bed but I can't let her because it's only 6:15 and she'll be up at 4 a.m. unless we stretch her until 7:15 when she'll magically sleep for 12 hours until 7 a.m., so I need to hold her and it's just hard. I'm with the kids, but not really with them and I find I mostly want to yell at everyone, particularly JP when he gets home. And that isn't fair because he does everything in the morning, including making lunches, making, serving, and cleaning up breakfast, and delivering everyone to their various locations. I just get myself ready and leave, scattering kisses as I go out the door. And then he does all the dishes after dinner, gives the kids their shower, and helps tuck everyone in. I am literally responsible for dinner and that's it, but this week it just felt overwhelming, and on top of the work news, the fact that I was even at work, and my unstable emotional state any (blessedly rare) time that JP and I aren't in perfect accord and, well, this is why I wasn't writing about it in real time.
Things were better by Friday. The sting of my work blow had eased. The decision is what it is and while I still have to write the closing memo and that still seems a bit like rubbing salt in a wound, again, it simply is what it is. I have a new case that looks promising and I'll move on. JP and I are good. What threw us so badly on Tuesday (and Wednesday, and a little bit yesterday) is still lurking, but I can't blog about it and can't fix it and nearly every other thing about us and our relationship is so wonderful I sometimes can't believe my luck, so why dwell? And on Wednesday, when I didn't feel like going out to lunch and talking to colleagues, I went to Macy's and bought this beautiful purse at a magical 25% off (designer stuff never goes on sale, which was a sign that it must be purchased):
I'm usually a shoe person, but I'm quite taken with this purse. It's like a smile on my shoulder. Just like the one I'm getting as I listen to JP teaching Landon how to play bananagrams one room over and when I emerged from my shower earlier to find Claire very earnestly showing Cora animal flashcards and exclaiming "good job!" over and over again (good job for smiling at the animals, I suppose, Cora can't do much else). And now I'm going to do my hair and makeup, don a work inappropriate dress, and get on with the date night table for two and the eating of all the sushi. Things are fine and really even very good, but good god it was a week I am not sad to put behind.
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