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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Finding Calm

Kazmer is now eleven weeks old. This means I have been back at my place of employment, my job, my paycheck, for seven weeks now. I am happy to have my job, but the truth is I am sad. I would rather be tucked tightly at home with my little family wasting away the days with childish banter, messy meal times, naps, playing, extra snuggles with my lover, dog walks, and everything family. Wouldn't we all.

I'm not sure that I took full advantage of the twelve weeks off that I had with Graisyn. In fact, I am sure I didn't. I was actually eager to go back to work after having her because she had colic and I needed a break from that. Looking back I think what I needed was less of a break and more of an understanding. But it is water under the bridge, I say. Water under the bridge.

During my four weeks off with Kazmer and Graisyn, I learned how to appreciate the world through the eyes of a three-year old and the eyes of a newborn. I was forced to turn off my work brain and move solely to family brain. It was lovely and I needed to find a way to better balance the two. I loathe my work brain. It is focused and strategic and demanding. It is driven and nagging and bored. It is everything not family and it was too easy to bring that brain home with me. I am in love with my family brain. It is everything playful and curious. It is loving and patient. Okay, sometimes it isn't. It is kind and uplifting. It is serious and authoritative when need be because it is the discipliner. It is calm. Okay, sometimes it isn't.

Sara and I walked Graisyn to daycare nearly every day while I was off. She only went part-time. She still needed routine, but we needed her home too. While she was gone, Sara and I took every second to learn Kazmer. What did his cries mean? Was he hungry or tired? Did he just want to be cuddled? When Graisyn was home we played and she adored her brother. She was eager to help with him and even more so to hold him or to kiss him or to hug him. We had and have a very full and happy house.

I was afraid that little bubble of happiness would burst on my return to work. I wish I would have brushed that fear aside and replaced it with balance and courage. But alas, I did not. I trudged to work on that very first day convinced that I had not been away any longer than a weekend or maybe an extended holiday. I was pouty and out of sorts worried that I would be one of THOSE people who can never seem to set work aside to show their own family they are loved and appreciated.

But that won't be me. Only a few days into my return to my turbulent sea of beige I made the decision that I was not owned by work. Essentially, I was and am owned by my family. And I don't mean that negatively. After all, that is the way it should be. Sure there are days when I bring the stress of the office home with me, but more often I come home to be pummeled by my kids and kissed on by my wife. I  put myself in a position where I am in control of my time. I will always work hard. I will always put forth my very best effort, but I am working to live, not living to work. This is the way I have decided to absorb the shock of returning to the office when I would rather be home tickling my kids until they pee. It is in this decision that I found calm.

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