Normally, I work split shifts. I’ve done this for eight years. Working from 10 AM to 3 PM and then 9 PM to midnight allows me to do the Mom-parts of my life with a fair degree of competency, dirty dishes in the sink notwithstanding. It’s the best of all worlds and the worst of all worlds.
(How? Well, consider what it would be like to share your office with laundry baskets and how aggravating it is to have your kids yelling outside your office door or interrupting you while you are doing Work that requires Thought and Concentration. But then think of how amazing it would be to stumble to your desk while still wearing your nightgown and glasses. Just hypothetically, of course.)
Every once in awhile, though, I cover someone else’s shift and work from 5 PM until 1 AM. Sitting at my desk for eight straight hours sounds easy-peasy, but it’s kind of grueling in a back-pain, bleary-eyed sort of way. But it gives me the rare opportunity to be out and about in the world during the daytime which is kind of fun.
And so it was today. I woke up slowly and read for awhile (Room) and then went to a move (Joy). After the movie, I stopped by Starbucks for “Birthday Reward” drink (free, but you have to know to ask!). I went to Trader Joe’s and while I was checking out, the extremely friendly lady bagging my groceries said, “So, how was work today?” and I was momentarily confused.
Did I work today? Then I remember that I hadn’t worked yet and told them so.
While I drove home, I noticed the cirrus clouds and figured it would be a beautiful sunset that I would miss because I’d be sitting at my desk while that magic happened.
By the time I got home, I had just enough time to put away groceries and give my boys directions for making homemade pizza before starting work.
Now the day is done. The house is quiet. My desk is an absolute wreck, covered with piles of unmatched socks and books and sticky notes and empty water bottles. My knees are kind of achy and my back is stiff and I’m ready to sleep.
(It’s definitely a balancing act, this life of mine.)