work life balance

Honey, I’ll Be Late Home From The Office…

I work part-time, and I rarely miss our kids’ dinner and bath time. But Mondays are my afternoon clinic days, and not only am I usually leaving well after the afternoon rush hour, but my commute has been longer of late.

I’ve been walking to the closest trolley stop a mile away, instead of driving to the train station with the big parking lot. It takes me longer to walk to the little trolley, switch at the first station, and take the train in, but the walk is sooo lovely, it’s worth it. I enjoy the quiet time, and the scenery. There’s a big hill with a view of the city in the distance, and huge stately homes with neat landscaping, leading to our quaint town center and the antique trolley line…

This Monday I had a bit of a hectic afternoon, seeing my own patients while also covering prescription refills/ patient questions/ urgent results for my colleagues who are away. (It IS August…) But,  I was able to wrap it up by a little after six p.m., not bad! And I speed-walked to the train line across from the hospital.

As I entered the station, I saw that my train was just arriving. I swiped my card, burst through the gates, bolted for the stairs, took two at a time all the way to the top, weaved around the slow walkers, called to the conductor who was leaning out of his window (and I’m SURE he saw me), and I made it to the doors of the first car…. Just as they closed. I mean, these doors shut in my face.

This is why I usually don’t run for the train. It’s just so humiliating to make that very public physical effort, and miss it anyways. When I’m a passenger, I always feel a kind of entertained pity for the fool that tries to catch the train, and fails. You know when people do that and then they kind of pretend that they weren’t really trying that hard in the first place and don’t really care…

Well, everyone on the crowded train who saw me sprint in my black work dress and sandals got a good show as I yelled at the conductor:

“Really? Seriously? I’m right here.”

He just calmly slid closed his little window, and there went the train. 

Soooo. Anyhoo… I did the only thing I could do. I pulled out my phone and buried myself in my Pinterest feed, pretending I didn’t give a hoot.

I waited ten minutes for the next train. All went fine until the switch for the trolley. At the trolley, there were a number of attendants assisting a man in a wheelchair who needed to get onto the trolley. This involved setting up a folding lift and slowly, carefully raising it up so he could roll on. It was an impressive little engineering feat. It took some time. The poor man apologized profusely to everyone and anyone on the trolley. I was the only one who said, “It’s OK, sir! Don’t worry.” From the looks of my fellow commuters, I’m not sure they felt as obliging.

By the time I got to the fun part, my peaceful walk, it was almost eight o’clock and the mosquitoes were out in full force. I fairly trotted up the hill and down the hill and up our street and home…

The kids were fed and clean, and also jumping up and down on the living room furniture, yelling nonsense words and giggling hysterically. Hubby was understandably flustered. I herded them right upstairs and got full swing into bedtime. The kids eventually succumbed, but it took a looong time…

Hubby and I finally sat down to dinner together at nine-thirty p.m. He’d prepared it all earlier: Grilled garlic shrimp and baby peppers over arugula salad, with a homemade lemon- parmesan dressing, by the way. Go Hubby!

Honey, I’ll be late home from the office more often…



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