Sometimes I feel like I’m giving 110 percent at home at 110 percent at work, but I’m not getting the job done at either place. Warning: work talk will follow. Sue me. Any Sex and the City watchers out there who remember Miranda’s struggle with what we call “work-life balance” in my industry?
We’ve recently made a rather large adjustment in our “communications platform” at work, which has drastically changed the nature of my job. Where I used to spend five percent of my days on technical, technological things, I now find myself going over html code; cropping, sizing, lightening and otherwise adjusting pictures; writing headlines and photo captions; and entering text into boxes for hours on end. I’m lucky if I have an hour or two at the end of the day for the reason I took this job: the creative stuff, the writing, the interaction with human beings outside this office building.
I used to at least be good at my job. Now I feel like I’m drowning.It’s been three weeks like this, including the trip to Nashville, and it’s starting to take its toll. I actually figured out how many working days until I vest (517 if you’re counting, minus vacation days and sick days). The thing is, I can work as hard as I can at this job, and I still make mistakes. And it’s not like it’s difficult work – a monkey could do it. It’s just easy to get careless and not very stimulating. And it takes a lot of time.
At home, I still struggle with the fact that I don’t see R. very much. I try to be blasé about the fact that she’s started calling her babysitter “Mommy” while she now refers to me as “Mom.” I know she doesn’t mean to hurt my feelings. I know I’m doing the best I can, providing her with a great role model, blah blah blah blah blah. But it still rips my heart out.
One of R’s friend’s mother’s called me Saturday to tell me that despite the fact that her daughter received the chicken pox vaccine, she came down with the disease anyway. And the first thought into my head was – “Oh God, I can’t miss that much work.” Not “I need to check R for spots” or “I hope R’s cold isn’t a precursor to something worse.” What’s wrong with me?Once when I mentioned that worrying about work is what keeps me up at night, a co-worker said I was nuts. If I laid awake thinking about anything, he said, it should be about my daughter and her future.
The thing is, I don’t worry about that, at least not in the way he’s talking about. To me, R is beautiful and smart and curious and normal. Why would I worry about her? But I really don’t. And I can’t figure out if that’s a bad thing or not.
I haven’t even talked about how I feel I’ve neglected my marriage. That’s a subject for another day.