Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Employee of the Month (No, make that Year)

I have an office in a fancy law firm with my name etched on a plate next to the door. It sits barren.

My college and law school diplomas, Bar and federal court admissions certificates, files, law books, and photos from my wedding collect dust in that office. They are all that's left of me at the firm.

But just because I have a vacant office and no job doesn't mean I'm not working.

Do you know how many hours I have billed over the past month? Year?


I don't fill out timesheets anymore. Time keeps on ticking and my days turn into nights turn into days.

No reason to write down "1.5 hours" for "Singing multiple songs while holding a toddler still on the changing table with one hand, picking up a plastic fish on the floor with my toes and using the other hand to change a diaper." It seems odd to jot down ".5 hours" for "Reviewing Babyproofing Videos on YouTube." And it clearly doesn't make sense to document "2.5" for "Reciting the alphabet," or "6.5" for "Identifying (and cheering loudly for) trucks on the road, in books, and on television."

My rewards these days don't come in the form of a paycheck. The "direct deposit" that I get now is not wired to my bank account, but to my soul. Payment comes daily in the form of smiles, kisses, chubby little hands literally patting my back as I carry my son around like a doll on my hip. Or when my husband tells me every now and then, "You don't know how much it warms a dad's heart to know that his son is so well loved and cared for every day."

One of these days, I'll retrieve my diplomas, certificates, files, law books, and wedding photos from "my" office, if my electronic key card still works. They, of course, are prized possessions for all that they represent. But, what is truly priceless to me is time.

This time.

It only happens once.

And I don't need an office in a fancy law firm to define my fulfillment.

All I need are MY two partners.

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