Caution: Road Work Ahead

As a mom who works full-time outside of the home, I constantly question whether the decisions I have made are the right ones. It is inevitable that I question whether working is the right thing for my kids and if it is the right thing for me. It is not likely to be a question that is easily resolved. It is easy to see signs everywhere, in emails I get, articles I read, comments people make or stories I hear on the radio that sometimes lead me to believe that I should be doing something different. Sometimes, it is construction zones.

“You’ve got to be F—ING kidding me!!!” I scream as I pound the steering wheel. It is clearly not one of my finer moments. I am running 10 minutes late already and I am only 3 minutes away from work when I drive up on a barricade reading “Road Closed”. The first detour I take results in a line of stopped cars. I flip around and head down another road, which I soon find is equally as backed up.

About a year ago, I started to notice the literal “road blocks” to getting to my office. First, it was the bridge across the river that was a short cut to my kids’ school. The city closed the bridge for two years to do some necessary repairs. This required me to take a completely different route to school, one that necessitated a roundabout detour onto the freeway. In actuality, it shouldn’t have taken any longer to get there but then, there was the traffic. Getting on to the freeway was no problem but inevitably it was stop and go due to the influx of new traffic caused by the bridge closure as there was no other way to get across the river.

Not long after I began the freeway detour the city started a construction project on the on-ramps I took to access the freeway. This caused a back up of traffic to get onto the freeway in addition to the backup already on the freeway.

Several months later on my way to work, after I fought the traffic leading to the on ramp, fought the freeway traffic and headed back to work I was surprised to find that Main Street, literally two blocks from my work was under construction. The cross street was entirely closed and to get through I had to sit and wait for a flagger.

It became almost comical. That is, if I didn’t cry. I was already chronically late for work but what used to be 5-10 minutes late was turning into 20-30 minutes. The city had essentially decided to start a construction project on every possible street on my route to work. Why was it suddenly so hard to get there? Could it be sign? Could it just be coincidence?

So all of this road work was making it hard for me to get my kids to school and hard for me to get to work. I started thinking that maybe it was divine intervention. There was a higher power that was throwing out bulldozers, hardhats and road signs to get me to go down a different road. Not the one that led to my office.

The truth is that it is easy to find “signs” when I want to. It is easy to think the universe is trying to tell me something if I look hard enough. It is like when you buy a new car and suddenly you see that same car everywhere you look when you never noticed it before. I guess it was same with me and the construction zones. They were probably there all along I just didn’t see them until I was looking for them.

What is harder is coming back down to reality and to sift through what it is that is making me see those signs and whether to pay attention to it or not.

Working is a blessing and a sacrifice. Staying home is a blessing and a sacrifice. I stay home for a week or two and I am ready to go back to work. I go to work for a week or two and I am ready to stay home again. There is really no happy medium. I go through all the justifications and rationalizations for doing what I do, what I choose to do. In the end there really is no answer.

When it comes down to it no decision can be based solely on constructions zones no matter how inconvenient they make my life. It is just not that simple. I just have to do what I think is best and stay on that road and hope there aren’t too many orange cones.