Thursday, October 29, 2009

Stealing Time

One of my former employers offered the option of flex time. I took advantage often, coming in around 6 a.m. and leaving at 3 p.m. Driving home those days, the sky full of sun and crowded school buses sharing the roads with me, I often felt like a kid skipping school to capture a few forbidden hours while my coworkers were still busy in their cubes. And whatever I was able to accomplish in those few hours before everyone else began their trek home felt just a little more special - a gift just for me.

While flex time doesn't exist in my current "job," some afternoons I still squeeze in a "skipping school" moment. I find myself sneaking projects into my bag whenever we head out to a park, a zoo or museum, or even just to run errands on the off-chance we get stopped by a train. In those few moments where Audrey isn't asking for a push on the swings, a game of hide-and-seek, or just requesting that I chase her while roaring like a monster (her recent game of choice), I pull out those projects and get that heading-home-early feeling.

Of course, today I measure those moments in minutes rather than hours. Projects are finished in stitches rather than rows and books read in increments of sentences rather than pages. Then it's back to my place on the swings to demonstrate how pumping and straightening one's legs can propel a swing all by itself. My legs moving rhythmically, Audrey laughing at us swinging side-by-side, these moments feel a little stolen, too - and very much like a gift.

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