Salt Lake City, UT
Six days and eleven states (I think… we had a detour flying into Atlanta which allowed me to pick up South Carolina.) And I still have to work this weekend. Too much, really, but I handled it okay. Tomorrow, Jen and I will drive to Portland for a school boards convention, which will hopefully allow us to spend a bit of time together. We’re needing it.
So far this gig has been pretty tough on Jen. It’s been tough on me, too, to be away from Jen, Aspen, Johanna, my friends, the mountains, our backyard, our bed, etc., etc. But Jen is basically a single mom now, and while people frequently tell me how great of a job I’m doing and often hang on my every word (which is kind of freaky, by the way) Jen doesn’t always have that same experience at home. And it wears on her.
While she’s at home with the same routines and responsibilities, I’m out meeting fascinating and passionate people with whom it’s easy for me to share ideas and stories. Sharing out loud with my peers hasn’t always been a forte for me, and Jen is really the one who deserves the first cut from me. But as much as I want to share with her, she’s not always there, or not an expert in that field. We’re working on this, but it’s not easy when I’m gone so much. We go up and down.
What’s especially tough is when one of us (or both) is having a down day when I’m home. It’s a bit like looking forward to the long-awaited weekend so you can go hiking or climbing or biking, but then having a bad weather system move in and cancel your plans. When you have to head back to work on Monday (and the sun always comes back out on Monday, doesn’t it?) you feel tense, frustrated and anxious about how long this next week will seem.
We’ll have quite a bit of time together this next week, though, even though I’ll be traveling solely in Oregon. I’m hoping for some good weather.
I want to come out of this year stronger, but not just stronger on my own. That will be inevitable, I believe. I want to come out of this year stronger together. I believe that will happen, but it’s going to take some hard work. It’s not easy to change the weather.