Work families often enrich our lives

It is often said that you’d better like the people you work with, because you spend more time with them than anyone else.

And that is true in our case at the Chamber. Our group is small and spends time together more than most workplaces.

Early mornings, evenings and weekends are not uncommon. But the time together never feels like drudgery. In fact, I have often found myself looking forward to our days in the office planning, when we are not going so many different directions. Those are the days we seem to get the most done, but also the days we laugh more.

That anticipation was almost palpable this week. One of our team, Jessica, came back from maternity leave. While she has been gone, I watched others in the office work later hours, work from home on weekends, double up on job duties. This is the kind of thing that Jessica had done through the years as other coworkers have dealt with serious illnesses or the death of a loved one. And there was joy in their faces, knowing they were being allowed to give selflessly to another who often gives selflessly to them.

And although over the past few weeks the work was completed and we continued to make things happen, there was always void. We were all just a little off. I was a little off. Especially when my children’s summer breaks were over and they both went back to college.

I realized quickly that this work family had bridged the gap for me through the early months of our empty nest last year. That working with young people every day gave me — gives me — a connection with Caroline and Nicholas and their worlds that sometimes seem so separate and far away. And working alongside the members of the staff older than I who had “been there, done that” gave me strength to know that life was just beginning.

Our blends of life experiences and life stages have been enriching beyond measure.

And we feel so blessed to have a little baby boy — and his mommy — to love.