I'll be posting pictures of the next few rooms of our new home, once I am able to take pictures with natural light. Of course to do that, I'll need to get home before the sun is gone for the day.
We haven't done any painting yet. We haven't pulled up any carpet yet. We have, however, bought a dehumidifier and had approximately 300 empty boxes hauled away. It feels like there are still about 300 more to unpack. The kids are thrilled, though, because they love playing in boxes. Our basement has morphed in to a box village.
While I've been at the office, Charlie has been busy at home securing bids from a host of sources. Since Monday, he's had general contractors, electricians, plumbers, HVAC, flooring, chimney and tree removal experts file through the house. The bids have started to arrive and we weep over the money that we need to do repairs and renovations ... and the money we actually have.
There is a gap.
A large gap.
We're trying not to dwell on the fact that if we had sold our house in California for what it been appraised at three years ago, (i.e., before it dropped 60%), we'd actually be weeping with joy as we skipped through Home Depot.
On Tuesday, we had to have our chimney and two fireplaces repaired. While I wasn't planning for this improvement to occur so soon and thought it was instead, a simple cosmetic repair that we could tackle later, the fact that bricks were actually falling off the chimney didn't bode too well with our home insurance company. It seems they wanted us to have it fixed or they might need to suspend our policy.
Are you suggesting that bricks falling 30 feet to the lawn below is some kind of liability?!
And so it became, the cost for what I thought was a "simple" cosmetic repair took two men, three solid days and wound up costing us the equivalent of an all new marble bathroom.
Today, it took me almost two hours to drive seven miles to work. Because, there was a very small fender bender on one of the main roads.
Tonight, it took me almost an hour to drive home. Because, I saw that there was gridlock in front of me, so I tried to take a short cut and wound up horribly lost.
When I saw the sign that read, "Maryland Welcomes You!" I knew there was trouble.
Today was not a good day to forget my GPS at home.
I've driven this route to and from work now for almost two weeks, and I could tell that the traffic flow patterns today were highly unusual. Still, it fills me with dread to imagine what the roads will be like in January. When they're slick with ice.
I might have to learn how to cross-country ski.
Or get me some sled dogs.
For the past few days, I've noticed that Henry calls for Daddy when he gets hurt. He's happy enough to see me when I come home, but when Charlie walked the kids to the bus stop yesterday and I stayed back with my little tot, he almost crawled out of his skin that he couldn't be with DADDY. The thing is, he's always preferred me over anybody.
So, my heart nearly broke in two.
By the time Charlie returned, 20 minutes later, I had convinced my baby to snuggle with me on the couch and I was in heaven. But then I had to get up and push myself to leave for work and as I was preparing to go, my little boy clung to me crying.
As I had to peel his little hands off of me, my heart nearly broke in two.
And then it broke the whole way that I drove to work and sat in my itty bitty cube for the next several hours. And it really broke when Charlie called and let me talk to all the children when they came home from school and they all asked why I was gone SO MUCH?
While I really am enjoying the challenge of my new job, the whole "working in an office" thing isn't so great. Maybe it's the amount of time that I spend getting to and from the office every day that I could better spend on other things. Or maybe it's the constant distractions and disruptions and meetings and phone calls and what feels like ten minute hikes to use the restroom or get a sip of water.
I really thrive on being efficient and what I've concluded is that working in an office is anything but. To put it in perspective, as I was sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic this morning, I couldn't help but think about the destruction of our natural resources. And cancer. And child abuse. And elder abuse. And human trafficking. And terrorism. And then there's working in an office, which honestly haunts me just as much as the aforementioned. As a mother to young children who are growing up a little more every day, time is so incredibly valuable and precious to me. And yet, I feel like I'm wasting so much of it when I'm in an office five days a week.
This job that I have is very important for my family. I know that. I recognize the responsibility that is upon my shoulders and I'm doing the best I can to do it well. But here I am - on my first full week in to the office - and I can definitely say, it is NOT easy being away for the better part of my children's waking hours and this current work arrangement is not something that I'm optimistic I'll be able to sustain, long term.
I'm not opposed to being in an office.
I just don't want to be there every day.
Perhaps I'm just spoiled after working from a home office for the past 10 years. Because right now, try as I might, I cannot stop daydreaming that I could and should be at home.
I could get up in the morning and before anyone else is awake, spend an hour or two working. And then, I could wake the children up and help get them fed and out the door to school. And then, I could clean up from breakfast and make the beds and work for a few more hours. I could take a break to cuddle Henry, or he could sit on my lap while I check e-mail. I could walk to the bus stop to pick up the children and enjoy lunch with them. In the afternoon, while they play with their dad, I could get in a few more hours of uninterrupted work and then I could leisurely prepare dinner with my husband. Or, maybe I could play with them in the afternoon, and work at night, once they were asleep?
Either way, I'd undoubtedly get more things done in that span of time than what I've accomplished in an office for the past four days.
We could feed the children at a decent hour - get them to bed at a decent hour - and I would have ample time during the day to take pictures with NATURAL LIGHT.
Which takes me back to where I started this post.
And is yet one more reason I need to be home.