The Weekend



I keep calling it "the weekend," when, in all honesty it was the middle of the week.  And it WAS a work trip.  However, when you are the mother of four kids 17, 14, 10 and 5, a work trip tends to be a LOT less demanding than what you've got waiting for you at home.  😱  Just sayin'.

I mean...there was the awkwardness of having to get up early and drive 2 hours to be in Columbia by 9 am.  (Nine am alone is early for me.  Why else did you think I homeschooled for 12 years?  I am not cut out for functioning with normal society.  It took me a LONG time to adjust back. #weirdo πŸ˜‰)  Painful.  And THAT one was optional.  But I am SOOOO glad I did it, because it was a special training where I learned to defend myself in unsafe situations (and in all the professions I choose, that tends to be a possibility)...and calm an escalating situation with careful, safe defensive holds.  And to be honest, the skills I learned were invaluable, but the fact that I got to be so active at a work meeting is what made me hap...hap...happy.  I just feel sorry for my sweet friend and co-worker who partnered with me, because aggressive comes a heck of a lot more naturally to me than the "defensive" method they kept reminding me about.  So...I tried.  I think, too, that said friend will be MUCH better prepared for the potential of a REAL aggressor, and we all know who she can thank for that.  Right?  Yo Welcome! πŸ˜‰

Speaking of all this aggression, I was very excited about the nice weather we were having, and since I nearly killed my calves on the treadmill at the conference in June, I got this brilliant idea to spend my moving time outside.  Unfortunately, I am not yet completely familiar with Columbia...and just between us, I have heard there are some parts that may not be altogether safe for a lone woman walking in the evening.  So...night one, I was lucky to have my long-time friend and resident by my side.  (We walk together well.  Same pace.  Same chat frequency.  Happy catching up, indeed!)

However...night two, I did not want to wear out my welcome by asking for round 2.  I checked in at the front desk and got a recommendation for a safe place for a walk.  My buddy gave me the greatest recommendation, Shelter Gardens, where he assured I would be safe to walk alone.  HOWEVER...my regional work group decided to go out to dinner together, and (since they were going early, because I also EAT at weird times) I was able to join them.  So, I put an invitation out to the group to join me in my walk after, and I was privileged to have the newbie, 20-something accept.

Boy was I grateful to know I would not feel unsafe.  I enjoyed my grilled eggplant sandwich and just looked forward to burning off all of this Bob-made-me-sit-still-all-day energy.

Fortunately, unfortunately, it was more of a "romantic gardens" than an exercise trail.  My new buddy and I enjoyed all the lovely butterflies and flowers and koi fish (ok...yes...I taught him all the names....what is WITH today's youth?!!).  We even got to see an old school house and write on the chalkboard.  I drew a heart and some sunshine.  My new buddy honored our work group with "Pre-ETS was here."  Of course, I took extra round-a-bouts and ran laps around the kid, 'cause as it turns out, 20-somethings do NOT have all the hyped-up energy I imagined.  But, I DID get him to play Pokemon Go, so...we have that.

As it turns out, there were multiple wonderful surprises about this trip.  (And we ALL know how much I LOVE surprises...)  When I walked into the door on the morning of day 2, I immediately spied one of my faves...the head honcho...with all of his wisdom and quiet well-timed comedic interludes.  So, of course, I was going to give him a big hello, but then I noticed the guy standing next to him, and I just about lost...my...breath.  "I know you."  No.  I don't think you get it.  I know you.  Like...I KNOW...you.

I mean, I had not seen this guy in maybe 30 (or so) years, and I couldn't (internally) decide if it was anxiety or joy I was feeling.  Of course, at first I could not even place HOW I knew him, but I instantly knew it was important that I did.  Then, he spoke, and my feelings just got more intense.  Then, I looked at his name tag...the deeper the intensity.  I could hardly breathe.  I had to excuse myself on the assumption that we would figure it out.

As I sat down, I started to process and remember.  I had visions of the guy.  His wavy, grey hair brown.  His self, much younger, but (seriously) his voice still the same.  And I thought, no wonder...because EVERYTHING in my past has this breath-taking affect on me...until I get reacquainted with it.  As the training proceeded, we discovered that he was a close friend of my older cousin growing up.  He was a teacher in the school I attended (high school? junior high? I can't remember!).  I'm pretty sure I also knew his younger brother.  But I'm pretty sure I remembered HIM fondly, and that makes sense...because Bob only hires AMAZING people right?  And now...my past has found me again, though I may still try to run... formerly Mr. Kizzire, now my co-worker.  Past...meet my present. πŸ˜€What a confounding life we live?!!

Of course, this is not the entirety of what occurred in my "weekend" trip, but...after all, it is what stands out that is really important, right?  I am just glad to be home.  (Despite the fact that the boys have decided they can't sleep in their now vacated room...and it is 10:30, and I am REALLY just begging God to MAKE them go to sleep.πŸ˜‚  πŸ™)  There is still so much to say about all the ice-maker pics I got while gone.  (Ok...I like ice.  Yes.  I am happy the ice maker caught up while I was gone, and I do REALLY judge a hotel room by how close I am to the ice machine.  Do we understand?!)  But you do need to know about my encounter with Hell's Angels.  Turns out, they seemed more afraid of me.  I DO tend to have a rather aggressive-looking walk.  But...just..ask the 20-somethings.  I am tired.  After all, I am recovering from my weekend.


Comments