Yesterday I felt like a new girl. I went back to work for a ‘keeping in touch day’. This is funny really because I haven’t been out of touch with them since I started my leave but anyway...
Id arranged it in advance. I didn’t want to go but I knew it would be like pulling off a plaster. This way at least I was eased back in. The theory was that this would be easier. I could catch up with my colleagues, find out what was going on in my department and generally scope out recent office gossip (this is vital to the workings of an office as it motivates everyone to be on their best behaviour lest they should become the topic of coffee breaks). All in all it should be a rather productive day.
The night before I couldn’t sleep. It felt like Sunday evening all day.
I played over and over the thought of going into the office in my mind. I hated the thought of leaving the baby (although she was in the trusted hands of my partner, her father). I worried that they wouldn’t like me anymore (my colleagues, not partner and baby), that I wouldn’t like the job (more than likely I felt), that I might cry and beg to be sent home (statistically the most likely to occur, so this was a rationale worry).
As I've said, I'm a natural born worrier. The prospect of a day in the office gave me a multitude of new worries to mull over well In advance of the big day. Long nights give a worrier all the time in the world to play out worries over and over again. I'm prone to insomnia and always feel that if I could use the night time better, then I would be one of the most productive people on the planet. I can’t so I won’t worry about that...
After what felt like about 10 minutes of sleep I got up and showered. I kind of enjoyed the fact that I could dedicate time to my morning regime as I was now the ‘worker’. Well for the day at least...
Then I trawled through my wardrobe. This was probably a task which would have been better undertaken in advance. How depressing. Not a good start...
For some reason I had assumed that;
1. All of my clothes would look uber trendy. Even though they didn’t before. I credited the wardrobe elves with having given my clothes some kind of makeover. They hadn’t visited me which was surprising.
2. All of my clothes would fit perfectly and transform me from mother to LA law in a instant.
3. They would all look brand new. All previous defects would be mended miraculously. There would be no bobbling, no ladders, no scuffs...
4. I would be spoiled for choice with an array of office suitable outfits.
As you have probably guessed, none of this happened. I had a selection of one dress out of the ‘items that still fit’ pile. Great. It’s certainly not an LA Law type dress either. If I'm honest it’s a tad too short for work. Now I have to add ‘remember not to bend’ , to my ever growing list of worries...
Anyway outfit done I packed my lunch, my laptop and about 300 other things that I don’t feel I could do without and haul them into the car. This is what I thought I may need and took in with me;
1. Laptop (I did unpack this but didn’t use it...so probably could have stayed at home...)
2. Kindle (totally not needed. Didn’t leave my bag for fear of theft)
3. Full make up bag (forgot I had even packed this)
4. Phone chargers for both my phones (not needed as I had carefully charged them both over night)
5. MP3 Player (no idea why...didn’t leave the bag)
6. Diary (I have one at work anyway. I also know that by the middle of next week this will be discarded/lost/forgotten and so there is no point in putting important stuff in it.)
7. 4 cup a soups (I wouldn’t need this many on a hike – I drank none of these)
8. 2 rolls, half a cucumber (chopped), cherry tomatoes, pretzels, a bagel, cream cheese and a pack of instant noodles. ( I didn’t even open my lunch box once. All this food came back with me. I packed so much because I didn’t feel I could choose what to eat in advance....) (I think I was also catering subconsciously for the baby)
9. A spare set of headphones for the MP3 (see above)
10. A Dictaphone (not used and the only thing I felt same enough leaving in my desk for my full return)
11. A magazine (well the kindle clearly didn’t contain enough reading material...)
There were also other sundry items which are too mundane to list. You can see though that I was packed for a mini break not a day in the office. No way would I use all of that stuff. The problem is that I would at home and I thought I would feel lost without it. All I achieved through taking it all in with me was the fear that someone would break into my office and steal my bag. Adding to my worries.
I thought that at lunch I would sit and read my Kindle, maybe listen to the MP3. As it happened a friend came and took me out for lunch. This voided the need for those two items and all of the food I had meticulously packed. Much nicer though!
I got home in record time and felt excited about the day that had just been. I slept well that night that's for sure.
The day went pretty well all in all. I caught up with my colleagues, re-familiarised myself with the surroundings and stalked around my office like the good old days. I enjoyed it. But I did miss my baby. I wondered all day whether she missed me too.
That was answered when I got home to her big smiles and saw the excitement all over her face. I love my girl.
I know now that she will be ok if I leave her for the day to go to work. I wish I didn’t have to but sometimes life just gets in the way of our plans. One day I hope to be able to stay at home with her more but for now this is just the way it is. She will be fine. So will I. I just need to pack more sensibly next time....