Sunday, February 04, 2018

What if?

Sometimes I sit and wonder what it would be like to be a stay at home mom? To have the time to plan and fix a healthy dinner, to volunteer at some organization that could use my help, to volunteer at my kids’ school (!!), to be able to go on every field trip and not have to apologize, “I am sorry honey, I am supposed to be in Florida that week”. To be able to participate in all the car pools. To not have to tap friends for childcare and figure out who it is that I haven’t asked in awhile.

I mentioned this to AB the other day and he laughed at me. “You couldn’t stand it. It would drive you absolutely insane. And you wouldn’t have any miles and points to track. We wouldn’t have four free tickets to Hawaii because of all your miles.” 

I’m not sure he is right, I think I could do it. I think I could immerse myself in something - my kids’ middle school is brand new and having issues - maybe I would actually understand better what the issues are and have some role in defining the future. Maybe I would be one of those moms that I presently roll my eyes at who is always posting on the middle school’s Facebook page with inane little observations or problems? 

Work is busy, and complicated, and sometimes scary right now. There is a lot of pressure for big wins and successes in nuclear R&D right now. We are already very applied in our research, but now more than ever. Deliver what we need in the field. 

The other day one of my colleagues asked how I was doing with everything going on? She admitted to me that the current events in the world have her questioning her work. That some days she just wants to say, “don’t tell me” and walk off. I told her I got it. Some days I want to come home and tell my husband to start packing, we are moving to the mountains of Alaska where no one can find us! Ok, so some days I do say something similar this this and he tells me not to tempt him. 

Travel tomorrow. I was here last week, but not the week before. 

Sometimes I long for a simpler life. But when it comes down to it, I like traveling with my coworkers most of the time. I like feeling like I am making a difference. I like negotiating paths forward with clients, other labs, etc. I like strategizing who I need to talk to. And I get off on the fact that lately I am on the receiving end of this. “Nuclear Mom, I was hoping to chat with you a bit...” I like sitting in the car with a coworker who asks me if I would be willing to move to DC for a few years to support his program - even though I know (and he knows too) that I will still say no... right now. Right now, I tell him, let’s talk again in a year or two. 

History, it’s being made. And I dream that someday my grandkids will read about events and my kids will say, “your grandma worked on building that capability for the United States”. 

So for today, this week, I’ll keep on trucking. But if I disappear to the mountains, it’s because I want something simpler. 

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