I left the apartment in time to drop Laura at school and then either double back to the Brown Line stop closer to our apartment or walk the extra block further down the line to Western stop. For over 30 minutes on two trains, then, I would listen to music or podcasts, text a friend. I’d spend “business hours” alternating between meetings and focused work on tasks, answering emails and socializing–each mode distinguished by corresponding physical cues: the colleagues seated on my left and right, the closed office door, the easy lean on a cubicle divider.
I’d leave there in time to ride those trains back to the school for pickup. After a brief interlude at home, I’d make sure dinner was prepared and then get Laura to cheer practice, then go do work or read at Starbucks til she finished. We’d get home after 9:00, then start getting ready to do it all over again the next day.
I appreciate what it’s going to take to go back to that. Long months now of doing a lot but in the same space and posture has trained the get-up-and-go out of me. I don’t check my watch so often anymore. As desperate as we all are to emerge from this long, miserable interlude, it’s probably time to start accounting for what we’ll need to exit it well.