Those days where the second part is full, busy, productive, tiring and you look back and think 'I got a lot of stuff done today' -- had one of those today. I gave where I needed to give. Asserted myself when required. Laughed when appropriate. Put on my serious face when it made sense.
Then, I got into my car and started to drive home and remembered this third part was fuller and busier than I prefer. Ideal third part is going straight home and not having to cook dinner. It's not having to pack a lunch or lay out clothes or organize for the following day. Today's third part was not an ideal third part. It was more like what my third parts tend to be most nights during the school year. Not during the summer. It's still summer, right?
Oh, my summer is kinda over. Not the reminder I wanted August 9.
I had one daughter at the gym where my husband coaches. First stop, park and get her. Second stop, drive and get the other daughter at a friend's house who served as driver and hostess this afternoon after horse riding camp.
OK, if today's third part requirement was just a simple two-different place pick up, I'd have been fine. Yeah, that wasn't all I had to do in the third part.
Let me back up.
I ate almost half a bag of puffy Cheetos this afternoon at work. And, toward the end of work, I started in on a bag of crunchy Cheetos. A few of us were trying to show how we ate puffy Cheetos which I interpreted as 'let's keep eating them until the other people in the room really notice and take in how you eat puffy Cheetos.' No one cared that much, but I couldn't stop with just one -- that's Lay's, but it still applied in my case.
I was eating Cheetos not because it was a part of my latest diet plan, but because they were at the table and I felt the pressure of the upcoming days at work. Big days a coming and loads of accountability I'm feeling.
I trust my partners at work, yes. I know they are capable of delivering to expectations, yes. But. This. Is. A. Big. Deal.
Pass the puffy Cheetos.
Then, let's add in a Reese's Peanut Butter cup because that's another junk food item that needs explanation to how you eat it, right?
Or, let's step back and realize that there is a lot of coordination of life occurring in today's third part and the next two days.
More Cheetos, please.
The voice inside my head said, put them down, so I didn't finish the crunchy Cheetos. I drank some water, chewed some gum and headed home.
As written above, heading home involved two stops. Both of which were on my way and rewarding in that I saw my husband before his evening arrival home and I caught up with a friend (driver and hostess).
(I've a lot of thank you cards to write in the next few days and some gifts to buy.)
(When your thank-you list grows long, you know you have been asking for more than usual from others.)
(My thank-you list is long right now. It's really long.)
But before I even put the car in park while at the first pick-up stop, I'm finishing up a work call. It's a static-y mess of a call where I think I hear my work colleague and I say things such as 'glad we are on the same page.' That makes me want to throw up that I actually use those words seriously.
At the start of the call that my colleague and I tried to have a couple of times during the Cheetos-eating part of the day, she said she hoped I could hear her through the Bluetooth. I said yes because yeah, I could at that moment. And, then, as the call went in and out of range and static, I gave. There were no puffy Cheetos in the car so I tried my best to listen. Even upon parking, I tried to hang on and did that pressing a finger into my other ear to really hear.
I think I agreed with my colleague on what we need to agree and then we hung up. I went about the rest of my third part and started the pick-up efforts.
Agreeing over concepts at work seems so important at times. It seems as if it is life-saving surgery. At times, I let the tasks of work overtake the necessary tasks of life. I get into a mode of my job is critical to life, rather than my life is critical to me. And, that is plain ridiculous.
I care about my job. I do. I know I am making a difference.
It's just at times, it tries to become larger than my life. It interferes with the third and fourth part. It becomes too much. And, I remember that I need to be making a difference not because I'm paid to do so but because I want to do so. I need to turn off work once I leave. I need to honor my family. I need to be present in this life that if I blink my children are off and on to the next chapter of their lives.
And, I know that my role as wife, mom, sister, friend, aunt, daughter and yes, employee can be fulfilled by being true to myself and God. He tells us in Colossians 3:23 to work at whatever we do with all our heart as working for the Lord, not for men.
Maybe that's why I get tired, maybe that's why I want people to hear my voice at work. Maybe that's why I'm on a Bluetooth call with a co-worker figuring out how and why we agree on something. Maybe that's why puffy Cheetos become the plug for my mouth.
I sometimes (ugh, do I write oftentimes) work for men. The literal sense of working for men, yeah, I do, but when Paul writes this letter to the people of Colosse he's writing to refute heresy existing in the young church there. He's writing to share that we can find completeness in Christ. We don't need the praise of man.
We don't need puffy Cheetos, either.
So, when, the girls and I arrive home and we create agreements around the remaining third part activities, I have to make sure I'm not just running a list of tasks to make work just be work. The list is long. Pick a leo for tomorrow. Start a load of laundry. Get dinner on the table. Pack suitcases for a couple of day's at Camp Grandmother and Granddad. Talk to my son about his apartment. Go through the mail. Run bath water and wash two heads of hair. Put together tomorrow's lunch and snack for gymnastics.
Reminder -- work with all my heart as if I'm working for the Lord.
Everyone pitches in and I can feel the fourth part coming -- it's RHONY season finale and I've the RHOC on DVR. Big, big fourth part. And, I've a new bottle of rose chilling in the refrigerator picked up from Trader Joe's yesterday.
I'm working. I'm working for my family because as a mom and wife that's my way of working for the Lord. I'm honoring that time. I'm reading Charlotte's Web with the girls.
I'm putting everyone to bed. I'm turning on the TV and I'm getting a fourth part.
Without puffy Cheetos, without Bluetooth.