Tuesday I fled my office, lose strings fluttering behind me as I left. Four hours, regardless of whether you know it is coming or not, is often not enough time to get things tied nicely into bows, especially when the environment is dynamic in nature, as my work is of late.
But leave the office I did.
I left with the full realization that I had no idea when I would return, which is unsettling in its own little way.
This week the DC area is blessed with gorgeous weather. It is the kind of perfect that is leaves those in offices wishing that they could play hooky, ditch the office, and hang out on the links or just be outside.
"Think of it as a vacation" my manager told me.
I am thinking of it as a vacation and not thinking about the reality that I left things undone, that it is a vacation I didn't want and that has no end, and that while I am fortunate enough to be one that will be paid at some point, there are others who will not be paid or will have to figure out how to go without a paycheck for who knows how long.
I am not thinking about the people who came to the DC area only to find that they are unable to enjoy so much of what this area has to offer as it is closed.
I will not think about the reality that Congress is getting paid while so many upon whom we depend are not. I will work hard not to think about the feeling that I have that we are all just pawns in some political game that has little to do with running the country and taking care of the people and a lot to do with political aspirations and re-election.
Word on the street is that the government could be closed for most of October.
"What are you doing with your time?" a friend asks
"I am pacing myself," I respond. Because if I do everything in one day, there is the potential of a lot of days of not much to do and the increasing awareness that without work, the paychecks aren't the same. It is had to spend money when you don't have insight into where the money will be coming from in a matter of weeks.
My daughter and I were joking around last night as a babbled and chattered at her on our way to ballet, "I should write a letter to Congress: Dear Congress, Please let my mom go back to work. She is driving me crazy!"
It is going to take a little time for me to adjust to being at home, to reworking finances, and to embracing this temporary
way of living. My heart, however, is still at work. I am missing my job and my coworkers and the conversations. My heart is with the people
who are not getting paid; who live paycheck to paycheck not due to over spending but due to high cost of living; and with all those who will be impacted by this act of Congress - and at some point, we will each feel the affect.
For now I will clean my house and read books from the ever growing pile. I will enjoy the silence and maybe do more writing. I will spend more time with my daughter, whether she likes it or not… and I will hope that Congress decides to send us all back to work sooner than later.