gansje: (Gansje)
Today was full of simple pleasures thanks to my wonderful L.

It was a bit of a hectic morning. Children had to be moved along through their paces, sick teen had to be looked in on, and even though I'd taken the day off, I ended up working all morning putting out the endless tiny fires that keep popping up in relation to the largest study I'm directing. It's a behemoth among the other merely large studies I'm also directing, and there are some dozen of our staff engaged in all its moving parts. Every study material must be passed through two levels of legal review and one level of IRB review. There are four different committees on the pharma's part engaged in the project too, and two brand teams. Directing it and conducting the research is basically a full-time job, and I have four other of these studies to direct too. Plus I have to finish two financial aid forms for Adam (FAFSA and something for private universities). Plus I have to... and then I also have to... you know how it goes.

L is taking Jo and Hen to Pittsburgh this weekend to see his mom and if the roads are better by then, he'll leave with them on Friday, which for me is scheduled solid from 10-6 just with work for this one project. We won't be able to be together on Valentine's day, and he's seen how hard I've been working, so he asked me to take a day off on the 12th for a surprise! I did, and although as I mentioned that our day got encroached upon by work regardless, L told me I should wear a dress and heels, at 1:30 he drove me downtown to our special area of the city (where we spent a long, beautiful Christmas break once, where we spent time on one of his summer visits when he still lived in Rhode Island, and where ultimately we got formally engaged) and took me to the Cassatt Tea Room. Here are pictures someone else took, but I didn't take any pictures, so you have to have someone else's imagery:

http://www.kathyylchan.com/blog/2013/7/31/philadelphia-afternoon-tea-at-mary-cassatt-tea-room-of-the-rittenhouse-hotel

We sat in that very spot though of course the view out the floor-to-ceiling windows was decidedly less springlike, and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly, all carb-avoidance be damned, just for one day. The tea was perfectly brewed, and the bread used for the tea sandwiches wasn't stale at all where the crusts were trimmed. We had the room mostly to ourselves, too, so it was extra-beautiful. The whole experience simply slowed down time for me, and we had beauty and serenity for a couple of hours. It was perfect.

After, he gathered our coats and then told me to put my hand in my left coat pocket. Inside, I discovered a little pouch containing gorgeous smokey quartz earrings I'd told him I was going to buy as a gift for myself after my workload lightened.

I really don't know how to express my gratitude towards and for my husband in words. I just don't. *Tearing up a little*

After, we went home and I got sucked back into work for just a bit. He went shopping, I tried to put out more fires, and then we went to the second of the trips L had arranged: Nerd Nite! We drove out to a post-industrial, newly gentrifying, hipster-soaked part of the city (Fishtown, for those of you who are interested), and listened to a few Valentine's Day-inspired talks by, first, the guy who wrote, The Geek's Guide to Dating, followed by a printer guy who works with a locally-famous astronomer and artists to combine tech and art, and last by a woman of uncertain association with Laurel Hill Cemetery, who spoke very engagingly about Victorian death ritual and custom. She redeemed the evening's lecture series -- the other two guys weren't terribly skilled speakers, shall we say. We had really good vegetarian burgers/sausage, beer and free coffee and enjoyed ourselves immensely. We left just as the snow started, and we walked back to the car, the snowflakes falling swift and sharp, pricking our faces for a moment, then melting.

My L creates islands in time. I don't know what I'd do without him.

<3.
gansje: (Gansje)

Awake again, too agitated to sleep, I suppose. I've been utterly slammed with my own work, and today found out that a contractor (we hire contract linguists, amazingly enough) spent nearly all her time going to parties, visiting friends and family, and training for a half-marathon instead of working on the project I hired her to work on. Plus she misinterpreted very, very basic directions and the analysis plan, and turned her head-scratchingly odd answers to the client's rather straightforward questions extremely late. This means that over the next two days I get to read 65 doctor-patient conversations, twist her existing slides into something meaningful, and create a host of new slides that actually answer the client's questions.

I'm so burned out and, honestly, mildly depressed. I've been working 60-70 hours a week for a month and for much of the last 3 months as well. I'm trying so hard to spend time with L and feel connected, but it's very difficult to feel connected to anything or anyone right now. I feel incredibly guilty for having so much work and neglecting him. Add to that ambient worry about Jo and how we're going to manage her medication around Shasta's refusal to give Jo any of her current meds, and Shasta's tendency to lose Jo's meds. And then on top of that, a sudden resurgence of my insomnia. It's not good.

At least I've not been entirely consumed by work. L and I have had some wonderful time together, and we've spent a lot of time talking, which makes things feel better. Yesterday was mild enough that we took the dog on a nice, long walk through the neighborhood, along a walking trail and back. We got our Chinese food for Jewish Christmas, and today we visited some historic homes in Fairmount Park, which we both enjoyed very much. Last night, we went bowling for an hour, and had some fun (despite my being a dreadful bowler -- L tried patiently to help me with my game, but my ball was just too heavy for me, and I proved to be hopeless).

But the best times have been those we've spent talking. I love hearing about what he's thinking, what's happening for him at work, and trying to think conundrums through with him. He loves his consulting work so much, and sharing it with him today over lunch made me very happy.

He also discussed and made some suggestions about my own work, which was unexpected (it's usually so specialized it's hard for anyone to help with it) and extremely helpful.

So as rotten as the work has been, there's been L, and that, at least, makes everything a good deal better.

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March 2014

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