Written before lunch today:
At the end of last week, not even ten minutes after my anxiety attack had subsided (as much as my anxiety can subside), I received an email from my boss entitled “various stuff.” In the email my boss told me she’d like to do lunch to discuss some new, exciting software and also “catch up” as “she doesn’t see me very often these days.”
So usually when I receive unexpected correspondence such as this I conclude that it can only mean one of two things: (1) I’m being fired, or (2) the sender is being genuine in their expression of their desire to discuss the things outlined in their email, which in this case would include new software and life in general.
I know I’ve been a bit like the Girl Who Cried Wolf when it comes to voicing my fears over being fired, but I often wonder if my employer’s patience with me and my need for extreme flexibility will ever wear thin enough for them to conduct a cost-benefit analysis and (wrongly) decide I’m just not worth it anymore. I mean, I have to remain prepared for these sorts of unlikely worst case scenarios, right?
So upon receiving this email I also became immediately self-conscious that one day prior I left work without so much as even saying hello to my boss, so I responded, “Hi – I’d love to do lunch!! It would be great to catch up! Sorry – I meant to stop by yesterday, but Joel’s babysitter ate something funny and called me on the brink of anaphylactic shock, so I had to rush home. (Not a lie.) I’m available any time next week! Can you send me the link to the software so I can learn a little bit more about it in preparation for our meeting? (Mark’s suggestion.)”
So on Friday, we set up lunch for today (Wednesday), and I’ve had nervous thoughts about it each day in between.
Most notably, I was completely undecided about whether to tell her my news… That I’m pregnant (again, for the third time in as many years), and if all goes according to plan I’ll be entering the highest stress period during the days when we’re attempting to finalize budgets for our major global investor, and if delivery occurs as scheduled, I’ll be rendered physically incapacitated just moments before our audit begins. NO BIG DEAL that budgets and audits are my MAJOR (sometimes ONLY) job responsibilities, and NO BACK UP exists to perform any of my work in my absence. (Not my fault, but STILL.)
Mark’s currently encouraging me to tell her (if our conversation seems to be going well). I’m arguing that I should wait for a few more weeks considering last time I waited until 27ish weeks to tell her. But Mark’s like, “You have this lunch, and if it’s going well telling her will be a great way to build trust rather than telling her in two months and then leaving her to wonder why you didn’t tell her at the perfect opportunity.”
Okay… Point taken. But I think I’ll make the decision on the fly. If things feel right, I’ll tell her, and if they don’t, I won’t. But regardless of when I tell her I can only hope it will be less awkward than when I told her about Joel, when she burst into tears and I stared back unemotionally, like a sociopath.
This morning selecting an outfit was quite an ordeal, because, regardless of whether or not I choose to tell her, I wouldn’t want her to figure out my news upon first glance! Also, I’ve been going through a de-cluttering process, donating items that don’t “spark joy” in me, and really, almost nothing material sparks joy in me these days, so I have very few clothing options even available.
Though, in my defense, it can’t be easy for anyone to select an outfit that achieves exactly what I’m going for, sending a message of, “I definitely haven’t gained thirty pounds since you’ve last seen me, and I’m highly motivated and somewhat put together, but I’m not attempting to re-interview for my job either, however, I did read last week’s company-wide email reminding us of our dress code.”
So I initially dressed in a flowy black top over a grey tank top with a cotton black, grey, and navy maxi skirt (think Laura Ingalls Wilder sans sleeves), but when I went to show Holly (Joel’s 19-year-old babysitter), she was like, “Maybe there is something else you could wear like a dress and a long sweater? Or do you have pants?”
“Negative on all fronts,” I replied.
“Oh,” said Holly, “Well, I’m sure you will find something…”
So because Holly basically said that she hated my outfit (I love her honesty), I felt compelled to find something else.
So I eventually settled on the same flowy black shirt and grey tank top underneath with a super light-weight, summery scarf (with grey and black and other colors) to tie it all together, with some ten-year-old nylon FILA workout capris purchased from TJ Maxx, which look like dress pants (if one doesn’t know any better), with black, pointy-toed shoes.
Yes, you read this correctly – FILA. Yes, these pants still bring me joy. Yes, somehow I became that lady at the office who wears workout pants and claims they’re dress pants, because they aren’t pajama pants, and they also aren’t denim. But at least my pants don’t have the three white stripes going down the side or anything (I’d never stoop THAT low). But still, I’m that lady. How is it that I find myself here?
And then, leaving the house was an ordeal, because I had to find Finch’s heartbeat on the Doppler eighteen times so I could ensure (as much as possible) that he’d at least be alive in the moment I told her (should I choose this route).
Written after lunch today:
Our meeting ended up going well (software and general life), so I told her my news. She was extremely supportive but understandably stressed given the timing of everything. I totally get it. I tried to reassure her that, should everything go according to plan (which no one can ever know because any of us could just die tomorrow, a fact of which I reminded her), I should have above zero percent functionality after Finch is born, which would be an improvement over functionality levels both after Matthew died and after Joel arrived safely. I’m not sure whether or not this reassured her, but I really, really hope it is true.