Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Spiral

thespiral Sunday, I was at the park pushing my daughter on the swing when a blonde, muscle-bound Adonis, pushing his son asked me if I had seen the Cowboys game. I smirked, and apologetically replied, “No.”
“Oh, you’ve been here?”
“Um yeah, we have been out and about today.” Not true, but admitting you willingly missed a Cowboys game, let alone the playoffs, is just a faux pas you don’t admit in these parts. Yeah, he was missing the game too, but it appeared he was on a date, so I guess that’s his excuse.
I am not much of a football fan. I barely understand the rules, which as I understand it, I am not the only one even amongst football fans. This is all quite ironic seeing as how I work for 11,000 football coaches with the national professional association (not including the real name of my work on purpose).
Last week I was at our annual national convention doing my part in a stellar production. It was a lot of running around, making sure things were where they were supposed to be, giving directions, orchestrating, making scowls at the computer, one little innovation (ha, why didn’t we think of that on earlier) and a little bit of “shake and howdy” with college football coaches most could only dream to meet. I don’t need to name drop. That just seems immature to me. In general, football coaches are just nice folks with an uncommon career.
Oh okay, personally, of all the coaches I have met at convention, Mack Brown has always nice to me. He always stops and takes a moment to say hello to me, shake my hand and ask me how I am. ;-) He does that for everyone and it's nice. He make people feel good and ain't bad at coaching either. He gave the best speech at my first convention in 2006. He talked all about his failings and how he learned success from them.
This year, was strange for me. I felt really lonely. It was my first time away from the kids, aside from one night away from Alexander once. I felt out of sorts. I felt happy and sad, extroverted and introverted. The hotel was hot and had bad karma (no sure what that mean, but I felt something strange). After it was over everyone reported that they could not sleep, as did I. I was an unexpected leader and had a drama queen moment. It was not my most shining moment. Let’s just say that some people at my work don’t have the best people skills and I didn’t take kindly to it.
In short, I just did not feel like myself. Pieces of my identity were missing—my husband, my kids, my church, my routine. It was too noisy to hear my soul, or my God. It was boisterous and ceaseless. I do not remember the last time I felt like this, or if I have ever felt like this. By the end I felt myself spiraling away. If I were a football, my experience could be summed as thus: there were some great passes and there some not so great passes; there were some in the wrong direction and some were a perfect spiral floating effortlessly from QB to receiver. But at least I can say, I did not fumble and I didn't pull a Romo (how's that for a football reference?).
Orlando was a nice place to visit. It's spread out, easy to navigate, and very entertaining. I spent and extra day there and went the Morse Museum where they have the largest collection of Tiffany's art outside of Tiffany's studios. It was a quite an experience. The craftsmanship and artistry definitely lit my heart afire.
I spent my extra day in Orlando with my former co-worker Sandi. She just retired and lives there. Work will not be the same without her. She is a pioneer in our association, and now she is the only female honorary life member. We all know that she has been the real brains of the operation. But, the torch has been passed and I am confident those who have taken it on will hold the torch high and bright. Sandi, I think, is a kindred spirit of mine. We are a lot alike. It was fun to see Orlando through her eyes.
It's taken a few days to get back into the swing of things. However, I am trying to see things in my life—faith, family, work—with new vision. How strange it is that a week away from home has given me a realignment. Let's see where this pass takes me.


Michelle M. said...

Sometimes it does take time away from what is important for us to realize where our priorities should be. My husband and I (with the baby) are going to New Orleans in a few days. I am already anxious about leaving the older two with my in-laws. I've left them several times with my parents, but it is very different to leave them with someone else's parents. I just hope I can relax and enjoy my time away with my wonderful husband.

Anne said...

I can't imagine going to a convention with folks from my work.. so props to you for being so courageous! :)

And I totally understand not feeling like yourself--it's hard when you don't have all the little reminders all around you of the choices you've made and the things that are important to you.

Have you seen the movie Up in the Air (w/ George Clooney)? I haven't seen it, but I feel like that movie would be an example of someone who didn't want to have anything that formed his identity (outside of the miles he accrues). Interesting stuff...