Back to the Grind

Criminalize Decaf

Being away on business travel is a mixed blessing.

Even if the “meetings” or “conference” is held during set hours, let’s face it – when you travel for work the company owns you those days.

God bless the technology that let’s your husband send you video of your child’s first words… (Yeah. That happened. First time I ever left the little stinkers.)

And in addition to the work you’re doing *on* the trip, plus the work piling up back at the office behind, business trips are:

  • Perpetually exhausting – forcing you to abandon your internal clock and feeling permanently jet-lagged.
  • Forced entertainment and interaction with people you generally like but are presently about to drive you batty.
  • Eating/inhaling stale, cold food because your audience awaits.
  • Dealing with someone always banging on the door, asking, “Are you in there?” anytime you try to step into the shower.
  • Bathing in Purell because the germs. MY GOD THE GERMS!
  • Days of repeating the same story over and over and over and over again.
  • Seriously wishing a snack or nap upon a particularly ornery character.
  • Unforeseen and unexpected challenges.
  • Counting down the minutes until you’re “off the clock” and it’s perfectly permissible to consume an adult beverage (or four).

Huh. Apparently the home life of living with toddlers has well-trained me for the corporate world. I’m totally updating my resume…

At the end of the “work” day, when traveling on behalf of your employer, colleagues tend to gather at a local watering hole to relieve stress and discuss the day – well into the next. Much like desperate parents collapsing into (yes, I mean into vs. onto) the couch with a glass of wine in one hand and the bottled remained cradled lovingly in the other.

Except while some people bear the ability to party the night away, by the witching hour of 10 p.m., there is nothing more glorious than retiring to my room. Silence. Quiet. Calm.

The big bed all to myself. For eight straight hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Of course the dogpile scrum of canines and kids awaiting my return is a fantabulous ego-boost. For this last trip, I arrived home long after bedtime. Even the dogs only kinda lifted their heads from their cedar stuffed beds, “You gonna feed me? No? Meh. Back to bed.”

But just as I was about to collapse from the never-ending day’s end, I heard a wail for water. Tip-toeing into the nursery jungle, Destroy hadn’t even lifted his head – simply thrust his sippy cup airborne.

When I returned with the liquid of life, I saw a little grin and heard the faintest of whispers, “Hi Mommy.” Search sat up, arms outstretched for a hug. How could I resist? “I miss you Mommy,” he mumbled through the thumb in his mouth.

Life’s purpose accomplished.

Until the next night’s bathtime. A yellow foam educational letter “Y” was hurled from the tub with great gusto.

“Mommy, you need to get me my letter back! I miss it.”

Well, fine. That big empty bed suddenly seems appealing again.

2 Comments

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2 Responses to Back to the Grind

  1. Wait – who is knocking on your shower door while you’re away on business travel?

    I’m looking at two nights this week . . . and I hate it. That first night, dinner is almost choreographed, and I’m working, but not on the clock, until late at night. Then I worry about what I’d do if something happened back home (how would I get there, what would happen to me if I had to cancel the training, etc.). Then I never quite work out enough. And, while in training, my regular work just piles up. Seriously, it’s like taking vacation days — without the benefit of not having to go to work.

    And I always eat crappily.

    But the hug when you come home is pretty neat.

    • Housekeeping. Every. Time. It’s like they lie in wait. (Not knocking on the actual shower door, the room door asking if anyone’s in there.

      Joke’s on them. If I’m in my room – sucker’s deadbolted.

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