The neighbor pulled into her driveway at 3:30. My home office window faces this driveway, my peripheral vision disallowing ignorance of their comings and goings. The 3:30 arrival kicks me into gear, reminds me if I haven't showered yet that I am somewhat pathetic, that my daughter will be out of school in an hour, that I have two and a half hours left to go before I really have to stop to make dinner.
Three-thirty is often when my blood pressure starts to rise, realizing I'm not going to finish the list I made at 7:30 that morning in time for dinner.
The list isn't realistic. But that doesn't matter to the panic, and that's something I'm working on but circumstances don't always reinforce.
Sometimes I let my mind wander to my life if my workday ended at 3:30, if it were me unloading my car and following my child around in the sunshine. If it were me off in the months of summer. My neighbor to one side is a teacher, to the other a guidance counselor. Jobs fraught with their own troubles, for sure, but these don't matter when I'm stressed and daydreaming about what it would be like to be someone else, someone in the sunshine. Reality doesn't matter in daydreams. Regardless of how much you love your work, daydreams make the world go 'round.
I let my daydreams play as day continued into evening and I went back to my computer after giving the little angel a bath. Just as I used to take the Sears catalog to my room when I was a kid and circle everything I would buy if I had a million dollars, I find myself reimagining my days if I pulled into my driveway at 3:30, finished with work.
And I wonder if she looks at my darkened windows when she leaves to teach at 6:15 am and envies me, still asleep.