I love my job. I really do. That’s not even a question in my mind. Sometimes it is a wee bit tiring to constantly be on the road. But when I’m not on the road, I’m disoriented. Let me describe last week to you so you can get an idea of what I mean.
Sunday was Father’s Day, a day of confusion in my house. My daughter’s father has been largely uninvolved in our lives (the day I peed on the stick he suddenly got really busy and left the province), so we don’t fire up the BBQ and see if he’s free. Instead, we celebrate with my husband who is an incredibly good man and is an incredible father to her. All that aside, we are three adults with busy schedules. Brigitte had to work and I had to go to Nanaimo. We had a BBQ the moment she finished work at 4pm, and by 6:30, I was in a car pointed North. By 8pm, I was in a hotel room doing homework.
Monday was the beginning of the annual regional meeting. My phone went off at 5am by a colleague who wanted to know if I was up. [#irony] So now that I was up, I got ready, then sat down to continue work on my final project for school. I did that until 8am when the same colleague called me in a panic to help set up the tech for the presentations. For the rest of Monday, I was in the regional meeting, assisting and occasionally facilitating. Then while everyone else headed to the bar to celebrate a great first day, I went back to my room and submitted my final project for school. HOORAY. I tracked down the Regional Vice President and we went for a walk along the waterfront.
Tuesday was the final day of the regional meeting, which meant I needed to get up early, pack my hotel room, get myself presentable, and get luggage and myself into the main room on time. At 8am, I was starting to get panicked calls from people who were wondering where I was. (I was in my room doing my hair while fielding phone calls and emails from people who had urgent work issues.) I made it to the meeting with twenty minutes to spare and was accosted by colleagues who needed tech support. BY THE WAY: it should be mentioned that I am NOT tech support, but because of my IT background, it’s always assumed I can be relied upon to help. It’s a good assumption. I spent most of the day assisting and occasionally facilitating, and by 6pm, we were back in the car with our luggage, this time pointed South, towards Victoria.
Wednesday was an ordinary work day, up at 5:30 and at my desk by 6:30, except I ended it by having a meeting with the Labour Council that kept me out of the house until about 9pm. I probably would have been home earlier except, little beknownst to me, I was in dire need of new charcoal sketch pencils, a fact that was only revealed when I was standing in the art supply store. I stayed up a bit late because I needed to test them as well. Totally not my fault.
Thursday was also a long day. I slept in until 6:30, then got ready to go. I worked for an hour, then got into my car for the three-hour drive North to Courtenay. I ate a spinach salad while I was setting up the meeting room, then I attended meetings until 4:15 (the last meeting was a teleconference from my car in the hospital parking lot) and hit the road for my return trip South. I stopped in Coombs, BC for some cheese and got engaged in a long conversation from some tourists from Idaho who were in a Miata club. That sounded really cool. My next stop was Ladysmith, BC, to have a quick meet up with our Regional Vice President, who was on his way to Courtenay at the same time I was returning from there. Five hours after I had left Courtenay, I was pulling into my driveway where I was heralded as a champion for returning with a basket full of cheese from Coombs.
Friday was my day off. Well. Yeah. Something like that. On my day off, I attended my first meeting at 9am, then responded to several more calls and a few emails marked “urgent.” By 3pm, I had worked non-stop for six hours, but because I was wearing a hoodie and yoga pants, I was clearly on a day off. Hmph.
It’s Saturday now and nearly noon. I am rebelliously sitting on the couch eating caramel and chocolate pretzels. My phone has gone off a few times, but I am ignoring it in favour of having at least one day where my biggest responsibility it to wash the dishes that somehow became my job, even though I was away most of the week.
But here’s the thing. Next week, I am not working out of my car or out of a hotel. While the whole hotel and car thing is normal for me, when I am home for a whole week, I am at loose ends. I feel edgy, like I am supposed to be somewhere important. It’s nice to be home. It’s nicer to be on the road. When I am travelling from site to site, I feel like I am doing something useful and productive. When I am home, I feel like I am not serving the membership to the best of my abilities.