His office door was wide open. I hadn’t been up since 5:20am, got the children dressed, fed and to nursery; parked the car, walked to the train and scrolled through my emails so I could get stopped at the last hurdle to my office.
Yes, talking without a specific purpose felt like a complete waste of my time. Oh and boy, he could talk! Too polite to walk past, I hung at the precipice between his room and the corridor dancing on my feet with impatience.
Finally, 8:30am I’m in my office and can get started. Didn’t even notice when the visiting academic arrived. She later told me I always looked so busy typing frantically so would never interrupt me.
10am group meeting time. At this point I’ve been up and at it nearly 5 hours. I’ve got little patience for those arriving late. One postdoc tells the PI the NMR machine is still not working. Although inconvenient, I explain that there’s a central service in the main department and what to do. The postdoc looks relieved.
“I think it would be best if you made all the arrangements, Hannah” Said the PI.
The conversation starts in my head, “what? Are you serious? Why me? Why should I be sorting out that, it makes zero sense and I’ve just explained how to do it. Let me just add that to my already massive list of things to do.”
I’m silently seething but resigned myself to my fate.
1pm, the meeting has run over by 1.5 hours. I eat lunch at my desk fielding emails.
By 2:30pm I’m flagging. I hit the café for a diet coke and chocolate bar hoping the caffeine and sugar will see me through until tea time.
At 4:30pm, I sneak out of the building. I hate it if people see me. I know they will be here until 7-8pm. Note pad on knee I brain dump my to do list and highlight priorities for tomorrow. When I look up it’s my stop. Panic. I shove everything into my bag.
The doors open, I speed walk past everyone to the car. The boys have been at nursery since 7:30am. I feel guilty. Back home, make the tea, wash-up, bath time, story time, bed. Phew!
It’s 8:05pm, as I shove a load of washing into the machine, I’m already 5 minutes late for book club. I’ve still got all the boy’s bags to prep for tomorrow, I can’t face it. I send a message to the group saying Oscar has been poorly at nursery and get 9 lovely messages in return. I feel guilty, again; but needs must because sure enough it takes me until 9:30pm to get everything set….to repeat the same day over and over…time and again.
The hardest thing was admitting I was Superwoman. I couldn’t stop. Surely all those plates I was spinning would come crashing down around me?
It doesn’t have to be that way. Do you need a new approach?