Seriously, do you ever cry at work? And if you do, why? Under what circumstances? What makes you cry?
Well, I will tell you about all the times that I do cry. I cry at funerals, baptisms, at church, sad movies, not so sad movies, things that make my children sad, things that make my mother sad. I cry a lot at funerals. Even for people that I don’t know. I cry at retirement parties. When I was pregnant, I cried when I saw Tarzan, the cartoon. The Pixar movie, Up, caused me to need a very long nap - the only remedy to a good cry. I cry when they sing the Star Spangled Banner at the ball park. I tear up with such regularity that my kids can predict when the waterworks will begin. Yes, I am an emotional being and very good at crying at touching moments.
But, I never cry at work.
Not when I get yelled at
Not when I mess up
Not when I do something embarrassing
Not when I missed that last flight to Singapore and was a whole day late for meetings
No, not ever.
That was something I asked myself after one crazy episode when my boss shouted at me, at the top of her voice, at full volume. I did cry, about work, once… When I did not get the promotion I wanted… When I came home, my daughter patted me on the back and told me this is what God wants for me, and I broke down. I did not do my crying at work. I saved it for home.
Why don’t I cry work? Because very simply, it’s not personal. Work is not my life and it’s not the real stuff that truly matters at the end of the day. What truly matters are my family, births, deaths, God, love, and hope. That is what I save my tears for.
The real deal about what it’s like to be a working mom. I often hear the following phrase, “I don’t know how you manage it all.“ The reality is, I don’t even know. Deep down inside, I’m wondering the same thing about them. I have two kids, a wonderful husband, a normal suburban life. I’ve always been achievement oriented and simply love to tackle things that sometimes make other peoples eyes glaze over… in boredom. I’m a researcher and my view on the technical stuff is that nothing is difficult, merely complex.
Flat Stanley at the Changing of the Guards.