I love staying home with my children. It’s great to be able to really be there for them and do fun and education things with them, like go to the zoo, whenever I want to and it makes the “problem” of summer vacation less so.
But there are times I would give a kidney to be out there with my husband in the working world.
Moments where my shoulders are covered in snot, there is vomit on my pants, and I’ve had 3 hours of sleep. Or when the contents of my canned good and spice cupboard have been emptied onto the floor of my kitchen. For the third time that morning.
Or, as in this weekend, when my husband gets to travel to an exotic location and rub elbows with some of the movers and shakers in the world of Economics. A world that I, once upon a time, visited for 4 wonderful years and where I still have friends I rarely get to see.
I worked in economics when I was at Berkeley, CA. I loved it. I loved working for one professor in particular. I have never been as content and happy in a job as I was working for him. If he has asked me to figure out how to get the moon to be full at all times I would have tried.
I was very sad to leave him and the department, but there was that whole pesky business of me getting married to a PhD student and him getting a great job out in DC. You know how it is.
But what made him such a great boss? Respect. He respected my work, praised me when I deserved it, asked me to do things that stretched my skills, and accepted my limitations with nary a disparaging word. He brought me flowers one morning after I had defused a stressful situation that had started a 5:00 am. In return I respected him and strove to do my best.
When I can get back to Berkeley he and I have coffee. Just the fact he will make time out of his busy schedule to give me an hour or so for coffee is tremendous. I try to email him occasionally with, I hope, witty and humorous accounts of my life and happenings. He always emails back with the details of his latest travels (the trip he and his wife took to India is still one of my favorite stories).
And my husband is currently at a conference getting to chat with him and some of our other friends while I’m at home getting drooled on starting at 5:30am and explaining to a devastated 5 year old why we cannot have a Komodo Dragon as a pet.
I’m not an economist, nor do I want to be. My talents lie in organization, strategy, and conflict resolution; not to mention tact. However, the research that he, my husband, and others are doing is absolutely fascinating and it is far and broadly reaching. There is something intoxicating about being around people who’s thinking is on a whole different plane than mine. Or maybe it’s that they understand why we can’t have a Komodo Dragon or a Rhinoceros as a pet the first time I explain and they are not likely, depending on the awesomeness of the reception, to vomit on my pants.
Well, I guess I did just get a few days to myself at the Yoga Retreat. I guess I just need to suck it up and deal.
And find a way to get to Berkeley for a visit again. 😉
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