Too Busy to Even Change My Mantra

Posted: December 27th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Career Confusion, Misc Neuroses, Preg-o | No Comments »

With three weeks to go before my maternity leave started–which was also when the Christmas holiday was beginning–lots of things happened.
a) I got a new boss.
b) Three days later a client pulled out of some projects leaving a gaping hole in my P&L for next year, upwards of, well, a monetary figure with many many zeros in it.
c) We got a chance to pitch for new work.
d) My nesting mode reached bionic heights and I went on an obsessive Excel-monitored Christmas-gift shopping bonanza in all of the time that I wasn’t a) trying to make a good impression on my new boss, b) doing damage control over the significant loss of work to my team, c) writing PPTs to win a new client
e) I began to understand what being an insomniac is like, which for anyone who hasn’t experienced it should know totally sucks, but it does allow for you to run threw a lot that’s on your mental To Do list between 3 and 6AM.

Oh sure, I’ve been diligently taking my prenatal vitamins, along with a host of other supplements that will help my little inner parasite be the healthiest, smartest and most emotionally balanced being ever produced. But really, I don’t think all the other factors had a positive effect on me.

Working long hours, sitting in epic commuter traffic, subsiding on the copious amounts of holiday candy, popcorn and chocolate-covered pretzels, and trying to tap dance fast enough in front of a new boss that she doesn’t notice that the shit has hit my division’s fan–none of these things are pretty when you are waddling around nine months pregnant.

For the past month or so my internal mantra had been, “Cope, cope, cope.” When needed, I can draw on considerable reserves of energy, optimism and drive. And if I push myself hard enough, I won’t have enough time to stop and feel sorry for myself. This, plus allowing myself an occasional half-caf latte at Starbucks, can provide much of the necessary energy to light up whatever grid we’re on here out West.

Yet, aside from the lack of loving attention I’ve been focusing on this little baby-to-be, I was also dreadfully lacking the holiday spirit. Sure, I was get the family’s gift shopping done. But in the rote emotionless way an astronaut runs through a pre-take-off check list.

Then, something happened–but what was it? Oh, Neice Maia’s dance performance. Sitting watching a group of urban kids interpret the Nutcracker with everything from ballet to hip hop to break dancing, while my sister held Kate–who was enraptured–on her lap. It was just enough to make a knick in my steely outer shell of “Cope cope cope” and left me considering briefly a change to “Savor savor savor.” I got a small hit, akin to those you can get watching a grocery store commercial during the holidays when PMS makes you sentimental.

But it vanished more quickly than a spritz of fake Christmas tree scent.

Next thing you know, work was over. I was out of there. And then we were in the wind-up to Christmas. I realized that on the same day our nanny would be leaving us, it would be Kate’s last day of preschool before the holiday, our house was being cleaned for the last time pre-Xmas, and I was heading out for maternity leave. Thankfully my insomnia gave me plenty of time to process the convergence of all this the night before–while panicking about the appropriate gifts for the house cleaner, teachers and my team–all of which had been ruefully forgotten until my most awake refreshed part of the “day” over the course of the past month, which happened to come while lying in bed between 3AM and 20 minutes before my alarm went off.

And the other thing is, this baby has continued to gestate! Despite my utter emotional neglect. And while I was spending time realizing how unfocused I was on the holidays, I was even unfocuseder on how damn soon this baby will arrive.

3 weeks to be precise. And, given the holidays are past, work is behind me, and we’ve actually finally (and successfully, I may add) moved Kate into her new room and Big Girl Bed, I’m suddenly staring into a abyss of space and time in which thankfully there is one thing left I can do so I won’t feel totally bereft–realize that we are about to have another baby. That I am in fact. Out of this here body.

I never made the change from “cope cope cope” to “savor savor savor,” but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get “baby baby baby” in under the wire before I’m moaning in Labor and Delivery and it’s much too late.

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