Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Slippin' Away

The weather this October has been beyond beautiful in Kansas City. The month has largely been a stream of sunny, temperate days with cool nights. With all the rain this summer, the fall colors are rivaling any I saw on my camper van trip. These past few weeks, I've found joy on my commute as I find a new most beautiful tree every morning and evening on my drive.

Yet, yet.

I've had the hardest time. Instead of just enjoying the season, I've found myself trying to hold tightly on to it. Of course I know that doesn't work; the beauty is slipping through my fingers as beauty does every time I try to hold it instead of enjoying it.

It almost brought me to tears the other day. Instead of enjoying the leaves and their beauty, all I could see was the trees as they will be in another month - devoid of leaves and color.

I KNOW better than this. I KNOW I can't hold on to beauty. But that hasn't stopped me from trying. And in trying, I'm missing the beauty here, today.


Time to remember that life changes and seasons change and though today's beauty can't be grasped and cannot last, I can best hold onto it by enjoying it - and letting it go. Tomorrow will hold beauty of its own, if I but remember to look for it.

Yes, even in the bare and brown trees, beauty is.
God Is.
I have only to seek, and I will find.
This, I firmly believe.
Now, I just have to DO it.

wish me luck.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Lost and Found

Not that I was much better when I was younger, but getting up at 3:30 AM doesn't sit so well with me these days. I was trying hard to be a good sport about it when I went to Montreal, but I was still draggy, even after napping on the first flight and having a good cup of coffee.

But, I wanted to make a good impression on my new coworkers, so I stopped in the Detroit airport to put in my contacts. I managed to get them in without dropping them down the drain OR onto the floor, so was feeling pretty proud of myself as I got on the second flight.  Makeup and everything; how much more uptown can you get.

The second flight was on a small plane - the kind with just two seats on each side of the aisle. As were all my flights that day, the flight was full, the bins crowded, so I had my carry-on under my seat. I got off the plane, no problem; gave no thought to the fact my water bottle seemed to slip more easily than it should have into its spot in my carry-on bag. (This is where I start blaming that god-awful early rising for my dulled senses...)

Sure enough, I got to the hotel to check in, and my all-important cosmetics bag was missing. You know, the one with all the stuff in it that you don't check because you REALLY don't want to lose it. My drugs were in that bag. My night guard (I'm an incurable nighttime teeth grinder - the guard prevents my teeth from actually grinding together, and has saved me from many a headache. It's also custom made to my mouth, and wasn't cheap.) My glasses.

I just about lost it. What was I doing in this stupid town starting a stupid new job anyways? I was tired. The day had been long already, and I still had to be nice to relative strangers (my new coworkers) for dinner. I should have...  I could have...  I had no idea where the bag had gone.

I told one of the guys about my lost bag, and he insisted on taking me to Wal-Mart where I could replace some of the essentials. There was nothing I could do about the drugs or the glasses, but I was able to get some toothpaste, contact lens solution and, bless their hearts, some disposable night-guards.  (I had no idea they made such things.)

I still wasn't happy with myself when I got back to the hotel, but had managed to calm me down enough to repeat to myself that what I'd lost was just stuff, and stuff can be replaced. With little hope of hearing back, I put in lost item claims to the Detroit airport and to Delta.

And I went on with my week. I never heard anything at all from the airport, and after a few days, while the folks at Delta assured me they were diligently searching for my lost items, they hadn't found it either. I gave up hope, and started making plans to see my eye doctor and dentist when I got home. I needed new glasses anyhow.  **sigh**

Then, as I was waiting in the airport for my return home on Friday, idly checking my email, there was another message from Delta. They'd found an item closely matching the description of the items I'd reported lost. I had 45 days to pay to have the item(s) shipped to my home, otherwise they would recycle them. I didn't wait 45 minutes, let alone 45 days - I was HAPPY to pay to have my lost bag returned to me.

I got the package in the mail on Wednesday - it was all there; every item that had been in the bag was still there. It even made me feel slightly better about the whole 3:30 AM thing. Slightly.

Still, next time I fly, that particular bag is getting its own zippered compartment in whatever bag I carry. Just sayin'.

Monday, October 12, 2015


It's amazing how quickly old habits return.

I hadn't been on a working business trip in over a decade. There I was, in the airport at 5:15 AM. That means I was up at the ungodly time of 3:30. AM.  3:30 AM is either a time for tossing and turning or sleeping soundly. It is NOT a time when I should be out of bed any longer than it takes to relieve my bladder.

But there I was, waiting with the rest of the Monday morning business flyers for a plane to Detroit, then Montreal. The trip was routine - no major bumps in the air highways. I met up with two others also starting the same day with the same company in Detroit; we landed shortly after lunchtime, made it through customs without trouble, went to the hotel and dropped our bags, then headed to the office. You'll note I didn't mention where we stopped for lunch in there - that's because we didn't stop.

Finally, about 3:30 (PM, this time), my system rebelled. They were still talking, my brain was no longer processing. It was on strike until I fed it. I put my foot down, dragged everyone down to the cafeteria (fortunately, they stock good coffee there!) and got myself a sandwich. Back to work we went, finally finishing up for the day around 7:30.  By the time we went out to find a place to eat, it was after nine, and the only thing that sounded reasonably good that was still open was a fast food burger place. (I got a vegetarian burger, in case you're curious.) Oh, the glamour of it all!

I got a bit more food the rest of the trip, but as had been true in my long-ago, didn't have the energy to get out and see anything of the city besides the customer location, the hotel and the airport. I'm happy to report the hotel (Ruby Foos) was lovely, the customer's building within walking distance so I didn't have to risk my life driving in Montreal traffic - they're cut-throat up there, just in case anyone thought Canadians were laid back and easy going... The flight home was delayed as every flight I've ever been on that went through the Atlanta airport on a Friday evening, but was otherwise uneventful.

All of the above exactly matched my old memories of flying on business. I love visiting new places on vacation; would happily avoid business travel for the rest of my days. It falls under the heading of 'necessary evils' in my book. Fortunately, I'm slated to travel very little in my new job. If nothing else, this trip served to remind me that the life of a road-warrior is not for me.

My bed felt REALLY good by the time I hit it in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Heigh, Ho!

Heigh ho, heigh ho,
It's off to work I go...

I leave tomorrow morning for training in Montreal. Bright and early. as in, the flight leaves at 6:19. AM. It's going to be quite a shock to my system. I've done pretty well at keeping to a work-like-ish schedule while I've been between jobs, but going from sleeping in to getting up at 4 to catch the flight is stretching the boundaries.

As much as I detest getting up in the middle of the night, I appreciate that the flight is on Monday morning instead of Sunday night. I have done this before and know it makes sense to start the day in my glasses and wait to put in my contacts until I change planes in Detroit. I can get some more sleep on that first flight, and will be reasonably well rested by the time I get to Montreal. It's always fun to visit new cities; I've checked the weather, it's supposed to be beautiful. (I was in Montreal once, for a short visit; I remember it as a beautiful city.)

I'll get to meet my new teammates, who are also new to the company, and learn more about the project we'll be working on - it should be an interesting trip.

I had great plans to spend this last week off winding up some projects around here. I did some of that, but spent much of the week procrastinating.  Who knows when I'll next get to just lie down on the bed and enjoy the purring cat? Or will be able to take time to stop to read a book in the middle of the morning? The work will still be here when I get back from my trip, I'm sure.

I've had so little control over the timing of my activities this year; they've been dictated by the winds of illness and healing. September's weather is my favorite of the year - if I were to choose a month to have lots of free time, it would be my first choice. And so I am grateful my down time came last month.

I'm doing my best not to spend today fretting about tomorrow. There's something about starting a new job that brings me back to the first day of seventh grade. What if they don't like me? What if I don't like them? What if the work is too hard? What if the work is too easy?

At least now I'm not worried about being able to find my locker.
and I'm pretty sure I'll be able to find the right classroom.
It's all good.