I juggled the notebooks and water bottle I was carrying, puzzled.
"Is that a princess Band Aid?"
"They work better, Tom," I said, "everyone knows that."
This morning, after dividing to leave our house in immaculate condition for the two showings we had scheduled today, I reinjured my cut finger and, short on time, grabbed the first Band Aid I could find. Once at work, I struggled across the parking lot with my useful but enormous "laptop tote," a cookie sheet full of leftover dyed Rice Krispy eggs, and a three quarters of a coconut-orange cake. I made a second trip later for the Easter basket full of candy. On feet that just hurt, despite my Dr. Scholls orthotics.
Helpful tip: If you rediscover a cute pair of shoes in your closet and you can't remember why you never wear them, most likely, there's a perfectly good reason. I was limping to my car this afternoon. Grey snakeskin stilettos may be cute, but they have outlived their usefulness in this life.
Later I sat across a conference room table from another manager anxious for me to commit to a role on his project. I shifted uncomfortably, as I am wont to do. "It's not a matter of being willing," I tell him, "It's a matter of what I am able to do at this point." I tried to get him to flesh out what the role would look like before I committed to it. "I only work 32.5 hours now," I told him.
"We can fix that," he said.
"It's not broken," I countered, perhaps defensively. I didn't mean to be. But going part-time has left me kind of uncertain about my place and purpose. I've become a generalist. It's made a positive difference, sure, but it's not really enough of a change to count, at work or at home. Enough to make a financial impact, enough to lift the burden of groceries from my weekends, but so far that's been about it.
I am hoping for bigger changes, at some point, but we are not there yet. So for as long as I am in this position, I'd really love to do something well. Completely. Sometimes, part-time feels like I'm never fully anywhere. That's not the kind of employee I want to be, and it's certainly not the kind of mother I need to be. I settle for good enough more often than I would prefer.
The other day in the car Mirabella said, "Hold on, I gonna be on a phone call. I haf to put my ears in." I cringed. She watches everything, mimics everything, and I would like the reflection to be a little more flattering.