My medical/maternity leave from work officially ended a week ago–six weeks from the date I went into the hospital–the date that now divides our lives.
The end of my leave meant the start of my return. My return to work. My return to the “real world.” My return to regular human interaction beyond our safe circle of friends and family that have carried us through the past month and a half.
I’ve been blessed to have been given a significant amount of flexibility as I’m returning. Maybe it’s because I work in a church. Maybe it’s because I worked my ass off earlier this year to make sure everything would run smoothly in my absence during what I originally thought would be my maternity leave. Volunteers were recruited and equipped, communications were scheduled, calendars were planned. I’m not saying that to toot my own horn or anything, but in hindsight, all of that work is really paying off. (And folks in my line of work aren’t always known for being advanced planners–in fact, youth ministry folks have often been pegged as fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants and disorganized.)
So, for now I’m doing what I can when I can.
There are days I’m working from home–planning, catching up on reading and continuing education, catching up on and answering e-mails. Other days I am working in the office–prepping fall mailings, catching up with other staff members and office happenings, and sometimes just hiding in my cubicle.
I’ve found it to be healing having things to focus on besides grief, and to be around my co-workers in a familiar environment that’s not my couch.
Some days are still hard, and on those days I have been given the grace to hide at home and work from the couch. (Or I show up to the office still wearing my fleece-lined Crocs, because, hey, at least I’m there.)
I am thankful for people being patient and grace-filled as I tiptoe back into the world of youth ministry and the community of people who we love (and who love us)! (That’s right, Scott and I both love my job.)
It’s good to be back-ish.