Work and Life and Baby

Today was my last day of work before a winter break of almost 4 weeks long (I know! I can’t quite believe it myself!). I”ve been working hard the past few weeks to catch up on all the things that seem to need doing before the break, but somehow today was still a remarkably intense day.
Up at 7:40. Maybe I should revise the “intense day” comment 🙂 – after a lateish night with baby, I slept in along with baby. I rushed around to get ready and (with baby awake a bit before 8) was driving off before 8:30. At work today I prioritized tackling the challenging work of case management. For those who don’t know a lot about my job: I manage human rights-based discrimination and harassment concerns that are brought to my office, hearing people’s stories, helping to assess if the concern falls under our mandate, helping problem solve about what can be done, talking with others on campus to gather information, meeting with heads, and if things proceed, meeting with respondents to share the allegations against them and work towards understanding (hearing their responses) and attempting to mediate a resolution that considers the facts, impacts, and challenges. Today was a series of phone calls, meetings, emails, consultation with colleagues and thinking about 4 separate cases.

Earlier in the semester, particularly because I was swamped with other demands and also feeling out of practice, it was very hard for me to find the time to prioritize work on cases. As things have accelerated throughout the semester I am making myself prioritize the case work – the “Big” work, the important stuff, the stuff that really affects people and their quality of life. Though I had many technical details to take care of today, I left many of them until later in the day and took the time early on (all the way through 5 p.m., in fact :)) to do the important work. And still, I managed to wrap up almost everything that needed doing before I left. Two items undone can either wait or, hopefully, be done from home. Aaah … I didn’t quite believe it was possible.

That was one of the longer and less interesting posts I’ve done so far. Let me add that 1) learning how to work more efficiently is very uplifting, 2) doing the big and hard stuff first is a real break-through for me as I often like to clear up details before getting down to substance, and 3) very peace-inducing to be done the list that I’ve been complaining about for a while.

I left work by 5:50, home by 6:15 just in time to nurse a waking-up crying baby. SOOO glad to be back home with her and reconnect. SOOO glad to have weeks ahead of us to hang out together. I was feeling quite guilty about staying late at work, but in the end it wasn’t that late, she slept through the last bit of time I was wrapping things up at the office, and thankfully, my husband was looking after her today at home so there was no pick-up to be done.

And speaking of baby: a few recent things that bring joy to my heart.
1. She loves playing in our closet. She looks back at me on the bed with a mischief smile and scoots rapidly into the clothes, laughing all the while. I call out “where’s baby?!” and she laughs, then sticks her head out and beckons me to come into the closet with her. I crawl in and hide with her under the clothes, laughing and kissing her. We scoot around back and forth to different parts of the closet. And I think to myself, I treasure these moments playing with my daughter. I’m so grateful that she invites me into her private spot and loves to have her mama be there with her. I adore being able to hide in a secret place with her and kiss her sweet lips and laugh with her. I will always remember this as she grows.

2. The other night we were feeding her while all sitting around together (okay – she wouldn’t sleep and we were feeding her ON OUR BED as peas and worse kept falling onto the sheets … sigh). She started to get into our fun eating game where she takes food from our lips with her lips – she’d grab banana from dad, stick it in my mouth, then lean in to take it with her mouth. And as she leaned in for a bite, just a few inches from my face, she let out one of the loudest belches I’ve heard from a baby that small. Very nice!

3. Another of her new skills is standing on the bed. The other night she was pushing herself up to a stand, raising her hands above her head, and uttering ear-piercing shrieks of joy. Delight!

Bed by 9 something tonight. Aaah. Starting earlier tomorrow.

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