For a year now, I’ve been leaving the house at 8:00 in the morning and spending part of my week working at a part-time job that helped supplement my income and offered a bit more than most part-time gigs tend to proffer. That all ended last week.
Once again, I’m sitting at home on a Monday, in an empty house (no offense to our cat, Lucy), wondering what’s next on the horizon. The last time I found myself in this place of uncertainty, I could always send an email, text, or call my biggest fan and cheerleader—that would be Mark Baumer. Today is also Mary’s first day back at work since Mark died, so there’s a bit of a double-whammy effect.
I’m not sure what happened other than my son was killed, I probably went back to work too soon, and my manager lacked the capacity for empathy. I dared to point that out. That’s the Cliffs Notes version, anyway.
There’s not a whole lot to say about this without it sounding like sour grapes to some. It really isn’t and it made me feel like crap and a criminal of sorts. Once again, my crime seems to be that my son was killed and in a capitalist economy, there’s not much wiggle room beyond three days bereavement and “running a business” for some.
Sheryl Sandberg’s book about losing her husband has been sitting at the bottom of my reading pile. I wasn’t expecting much when I picked it up yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised.
Sandberg writes, “I have long believed that people need to feel supported and understood at work.” She wrote this from personal experience, having lost her husband, Dave, and faced the weirdness of co-workers unable to come to terms with what happened to her.
She cites that loss of productivity associated with grief-related losses “cost companies as much as $75 billion annually.” Talk about tending to what’s best for “bidness,” right?
While coming to terms with losing Mark is probably going to take more than simply embracing Sandberg’s “three P’s,” I’m glad I’m making my way through her book. Oh, and I did like her talking about learning to “kick the shit out of Option B,” which is where I’m at, I think.
All is not bleak, of course. I am in the midst of umpiring season and if it ever stops raining, I’ll have a slew of summer games to arbitrate. Last Friday, I also pitched and landed a story that’s right up my alley that I’ll be working on over the next two weeks. It’s probably time to ratchet-up the freelance writing with a bit of a vengeance.
Today, however, I’m reminded of brothers and sisters and a song about rainy Mondays and “the blues.”