I spend lots of hours with my family. Over the past weekend, I spent the majority of Friday, and pretty much all of Saturday and Sunday with them. So it’s interesting to me why one hour on Monday felt so different.
It was another full day. I had two events and a meeting in NYC, so after getting the kids off to school, I took off for the train station. I had packed to be able to go straight to the airport in the evening from the train station in order to get on a 10:10 p.m. flight to London. However, I’d looked at the train schedules, and if I made one of them, I’d be able to go home between the train’s arrival and my plane’s departure.
I had a charmed day with NYC subways, so I made my train, and drove back to my house. I was there for one evening hour. The big kids mostly watched TV, though they gave me plenty of bonus hugs and kisses before I left again. I nursed the baby (one less time I had to pump on the road!) and got him into his pajamas. My husband made us pad thai and we had dinner together before I repacked my passport and waved goodbye.
It was just an ordinary evening hour — a chance to cuddle with my baby and eat dinner, and yet it felt different from other evening hours. Context is everything, I suppose. An hour taken back from a string of three days spent on the road feels somehow decadent.
In other news: At one of my talks this week, someone said she’d heard a saying that as a couple you can work 100 hours a week before things fall apart. I think the idea was that if someone is working 80 hours a week, the other person needs to max out at 20. It’s an interesting idea, though I’m pretty sure as a maxim it would generally be used by couples explaining why two “big” jobs aren’t possible. Except — once you take workweek inflation into account — most big jobs don’t take 80 hours, or even 70. Two big jobs might often look like 45 hours and 55 hours. What do you think?