Work - Life - Balance this!

Get up.  Make bed.  Brush teeth.  Throw on yoga pants and Northface puffy long coat.  Fill Nala’s bowl with water and slightly less than a cup of dog food.  Wait 22 seconds until she scarfs it down.  Walk to front door.  Attach her leash.  Go outside.  Wait 1.5 minutes until she does her business.  Retrieve residue with ecologically sound cornstarch refuse bag.  Toss it into can.  Walk back into house.  Unleash Nala. Say goodbye to Noelle who heads off to school.

Prepare bags: 1) briefcase loaded with computer, all the cords, and little bag of gizmos; 2) gym bag – this needs some help – it is stuffed with multiple pairs and pieces of everything; 3) black recyclable bag with my law firm log on it, filled with running shoes that won’t fit into my gym bag due to overstuffed status, some clothes, 2 pomegranates and half a package of cookies (well, I did technically cut out candy – but a cookie is not candy); 4) suitcase stuffed with carryon bag and some clothes since I’m going to speak for AAJ in New York next weekend; 5) purse; and 6) black garbage bag of dry cleaning.

Get dressed in fifteen minutes.  It is a put on makeup day so that’s why it takes so long.  Water the plants.  Start the dishwasher.  Grab tray of raspberries, wash them.  Call Nala, put her in kennel in car.  Open garage door.  Get in car.  Back out.  Get out of car.  Close garage door.  Okay…we’ve lost every single blasted garage door opener and I haven’t gotten a new one.  It seems so complicated.  Does it need to be the same brand.  Two of the doors are a different brand than the third.  Sears probably has some that will work.  Or maybe I can find them on the internet.  I’ve been saying this for about six months now.  Maybe tomorrow.  Back out of driveway because the jeep is parked outside and blocking the exit end of the driveway (it’s “u” shaped).  Drive across bridge to downtown and traffic isn’t too horrid hurray.  Eat raspberries while driving and none of them are rotten which is a good thing.  Because you can’t look at raspberries when you are driving.  If you get a bad batch, you can taste the dank on them blech.  But today is a good day.

Drop Nala off at Downtown Dog Lounge.  Run into office.  Grab green Japanese bowl from Uwajimaya which is perfect size.  Make bowl of oatmeal in lovely new kitchen.   It doesn’t erupt over edge of bowl and I am thankful.  Eat while handling things at desk.   Stay for just under two hours.  Leave and drive downtown to convention center.

Park, grab bags numbers one and five.  Walk up two sets of escalators because it is good for your backside to walk up stairs.  Say hi to Clare.  Look into seminar room.  It is in full swing.  Decide to sit in back by an outlet as I need to finish my powerpoint.  No chairs.  Walk back outside and look around.  Spy chair down hall.  Drag it back to room.  Lift it so I don’t make any noise.  Head to back of room.   Take off puffy coat.   Get on internet looking for picture of Leave it to Beaver and other things to finish up slide show.  Finish.  Put it on a thumb drive.  Give it to the webcast guy.  Go back to chair.  Listen to speakers.  Decide to twitter.  Pull out phone. Take pictures and tweet.

Look up.  There is an earnest looking gentleman who wants to talk to me.  I stand up holding my computer.  Here’s what happens:

Him:       Can you tell me how many hours you work a week

Me:        Laugh

Him:       He smiles, but he’s still earnest

Me:        Oh, I don’t count them

Him:       Well, if you did how many do you think

Me:        (Hmmm he’s serious, I wonder what he’s trying to get at)   Oh, I wouldn’t want to guess

Him:       Well, do you think it is more than 40

Me:        (I wonder what he’s trying to get at)  Oh, I’m sure it is at least that

Him        Do you think it is 50, 60?

Me:        (I wonder what he’s trying to get at)  Oh, I really don’t know.

Him:       It’s just that I had a case where I tried to do everything thing that you (meaning the seminar speakers) suggest, but it was overwhelming.  Let alone for one case but if I was to do that for all of my cases…

Me:        (He really just wants to know work/life/balance)  Well, I do work a lot.  But not as much as maybe you think.  I don’t stay at the office constantly.   I wave my computer around and say – this travels where I do.  I don’t know how many hours I work – because there is “work” and then there are my “activities”

Him:       Is it possible to have a life and do all of this

Me:        Well, I have three kids and they will tell you I work a lot.  But they will also tell you that I do have a life.

Him:       I just don’t know how you do it.

Me:        Well, it helps that I am naturally efficient, but I also use this computer.  I wave it around again

Him:       I’m going to enroll in a community college course and learn how to better use a computer

Me:        Oh, that’s wonderful good luck

He leaves.  I’m checking my email, twittering, listening to the speakers.  Time for box lunch.  Get up with crowd get box lunch.   Say hi to friends.  Bring box back to chair.  Eat half the sandwich and all of the cookie (not technically candy).  It is oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip – quite yummy.  Time for me to give speech.  Unplug the computer from stand.  Plug mine in.  Get microphone from previous speaker John Budlong.  Give speech.  Go back to chair.  Talk to Janice Kim a little bit.  Tell her to sit in my spot tonight at the Hollyball as I will be late.

Put on puffy coat.  Go back to parking garage, get in car, drive back over the bridge to house.   Get bag number two out of car and shoes.  Get ready to go to gym.  Noelle arrives.  Talk to her as she begins filling her car with items for the auction that she’s in charge of tonight.  She leaves.  My phone rings.   She asks me to get a balloon at the store so people will know where to go.

I get in car, back out of driveway.  Go down to cleaners.  Drop off bag number six.  Go across street to Bartells.  Select lovely silver star balloon and three packs of gum (still technically not candy).  Drive to gym.  Go for run on treadmill while watching last half of Oprah.  She’s talking to women murderers.  This is the last year of her t.v. show.  What am I going to do without Oprah.  Then news comes on.   Finish up.  Get in car.  Drive back up hill to home.  Uh oh.  Gas light comes on.

It is 6:05 pm.  I’m pushing it as usual.  Shower and put make up on.  The Hollyball is black tie.  Dry hair fast.  It is crazy.  No time to do anything but put into half ponytail.  Oh well.  Pull out long dress that I wore last summer at an AAJ event.  Throw it on.  Put on high heels.  Oops.  Tie ankle straps too tight.  Loosen them.  Toss on coat.  It is 6:25.  Text Noelle that I’m on my way with the balloon.  Get a small evening bag (technically number 7).  Run out door.

Get in car, back out of driveway.  Drive down hill to church activity center where auction is being held.  School district won’t allow the kids to hold the auction in the gym.  How dumb is that.  Get to the church.  Don’t know where to go.  Call Noelle who sends two friends to get me.  I give them the balloon and they tie it to the stair entryway.  We go down to the auction which is for the Invisible Children’s Club.  I mingle and bid on things.  Oops should have waited first to get a number.  Get a number.  I’m standing in my long dress, high heels and trench coat the whole time. Everyone else is wearing jeans. Grab a piece of string cheese and a cookie (well, it’s just a little one).   Noelle makes several speeches.  I’m so proud of her.  Stay until the bidding closes on the silent part of the auction.  Noelle says I can leave.  I text Ed – he confirms that Janice is sitting in my spot at our table.  I ask him to have them save me some food.  It’s 8:00.

Rush out to my car.  Transfer a few things to my little purse, bag number seven.  Drive down the road.  Bell dings to remind me I need gas.  Get gas.  Drive back across the bridge to Seattle.  Pull up to the Fairmont, let the valet deal with it.  Rush in.  Find table – they’ve only eaten salads.  It’s 8:30.  Apparently I missed the “Austin Powers” part of the entertainment.  Happy about that.  Find table.  They get me another chair and squish me in.   See all my friends.  Have to say hi.  Hi Hug Kiss. Hi Hug Kiss.  Around the room I go taking pictures.  Come back to table.  Eat delicious ravioli with mushrooms and asparagus.  Run around.  Dance with Will and Ann.  Run around.  Balls of feet starting to hurt.  Run around.  Leave around 11:15.   Wait for valet.  Ed drove separately and says he will pick up Nala.   Janice is looking for a taxi.  Tell her I’ll take her back to her hotel.  Do that.  Get home.  Done.

About that work-life-balance thing…well…some days there’s a bit more to balance than others.