I’m sure I’ve mentioned this, but since we moved to Seattle, I’ve been working from home. The situation is a little odd—my colleauges are all in Chicago and my daughter naps in the room right next door. And in some small ways, it’s challenging. I keep central time zone hours, so my day starts very early in west coast-terms. And I can no longer pop next door to bounce an idea off a co-worker, or grab lunch or drinks with friends from work. Worse yet, when Avery cries or giggles, I can hear it and ache to be there for it, but I try to stay out of the way of her and her sitter. But all of these things have upsides, too—my day ends early in west coast-terms, I have a lot of autonomy (and my commute is a dozen steps down the hall), and I get to pop in on Avery throughout the day.
I concentrate on those upsides as much as I can, and I also try to appreciate the many other benefits of my current arrangement. When it’s lunchtime in Chicago, I can easily head out for a jog or do yoga, smack-dab in the middle of the work day. The other day, I ran along the shipping canal that connects Lake Union and Puget Sound. I stopped to stretch at the point where the canal spills into the lake (or is the other way around?), and the sun threw sparkles across the lake as float planes took off and landed, and boats cut through the water. I felt so grateful.
I feel the same way when I sit at my desk by an open window; the breeze that floats in carries the scent of the lavender that grows in the backyard. Or when my workday ends and I have a couple of hours to spend with Avery before Kevin gets home from work. And I definitely feel that way when lunchtime rolls around, and instead of opening my brown bag or heading to the corner deli, I can just go downstairs to the kitchen to poke around for a lunch that suits me.
Now, with a just-one-year-old around, our fridge is full of small portions of many things, which makes it a treasure trove for throw-together lunches. An extra quarter cup of quinoa, say, or a third of a nectarine clinging to its pit and a half-ear of corn. I found exactly these things as I surveyed the fridge at lunch today. My eyes also landed on a few leaves of romaine and a half-slice of crisp bacon, leftover from last night’s BLTs (first of the summer! what were we waiting for?!). Along with some non-negotiable staples that we always have on hand—feta, olive oil, lemon—a summery chopped salad came together quickly.