I’ve been doing new things at work: supervising two people, a high school student and a grad student intern. In both cases, it’s going reasonably well. But in neither case do I feel I have any fucking clue what I’m doing—how to be either of their “boss, ” for whatever that’s worth in my tiny, loose, informal office. I can see that it’s not a big deal. New job responsibility; big whoop. And yet doing this new, somewhat powerful and interpersonally challenging thing takes every bubble of insecurity that ever floated around my head and knocks it right up to the surface. By the end of a work day, you’ve never seen anyone as graceless, weird, and gawky as little old me. Or with a bigger nose. Or butt.
At the same time, the rest of my life (minus the occasional few hours when these two little girls’ pure, grinding neediness makes me want to turn my skull inside out) is darn pleasant.
Well, A is off on a Pacific island drinking juice, but before he left I prepared for his month-long absence by nabbing every second of free time I could, to the point where the poor guy had to set the alarm for 4 a.m. the day he left so he could have an hour to finish his packing (I know; I suck). And somewhere near the end of that week of absolute greed for rest, my mind clicked into super-focused parenting mode. I’m doing the thing I’m doing while I’m doing the thing, and nothing else. Breathing deeply. Finding joy in that attention. In, out. Etc. Mostly, I have retained that. Mostly, there hasn’t been that much screaming here lately.
There’s been more help than usual. More time with friends. More folks over for dinner for no big reason. And I find myself grooving on the Leery Polyp’s paean to Facebook. I utterly get it, even without an oxycodone buzz. We are connected. God damn, we can paint each other’s houses and take care of each other’s kids and teach each other to grow things and make life better just by being in it with each other. Ain’t it grand?