When you take maternity leave and are gone for 2 months (or however long you might take), when you come back to work, you realize a lot has changed. I started back part time on Monday and one of the first things I noticed was that every encounter took an extra 5 minutes. People I'd completely forgotten about - the gang at Latimer Garage, the men at the front desk - all asking how we're doing, if I have photos, etc. Lots of conversations.
As I left the garage, I walked past the Starbucks with its big glass windows and turned to see my reflection and stopped. For months I saw this very high carrying pregnant belly in the glass. That day I saw myself in a cute tank and capris, sans the cute belly. There was a little pout on my face for a few seconds...no more belly. I looked so different.
At the office a few things remained as I left them on May 29. I spent most of the morning going through things and organizing life again. Copies of my last time sheet from May were in my Inbox and my email had 4 messages from August and the remaining 15 from May. On top of my scrap paper lay the "Baby Pool" paper with everyone's guesses on when the little man would arrive (I took it home that night for inclusion in his scrapbook). Our new messaging was reflected in a new purple PMS color on new business cards and letterhead. DVDs of the showcases from the conference I missed (in labor that day) waited on the bookshelf for me. At least once an hour I noticed something that had changed. It was a time warp.
The funniest thing was when I went to scribble some notes on a post-it and I reached for my tri-colored apple post-its and much to my surprise there were no more red ones. "My Post-its are yellow!," I stated to my co-worker. They were red when I left and now they are yellow.
It really is surreal when you leave and come back and the random crazy stuff you notice.