Being away on business travel is a mixed blessing.
Even if the â€œmeetingsâ€ or â€œconferenceâ€ is held during set hours, letâ€™s face it â€“ when you travel for work the company owns you those days.
God bless the technology that letâ€™s your husband send you video of your childâ€™s first wordsâ€¦ (Yeah. That happened. First time I ever left the little stinkers.)
And in addition to the work youâ€™re doing *on* the trip, plus the work piling up back at the office behind, business trips are:
- Perpetually exhausting â€“ 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, â€œAre you in there?â€ 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 youâ€™re â€œoff the clockâ€ and itâ€™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. Iâ€™m totally updating my resumeâ€¦
At the end of the â€œworkâ€ day, when traveling on behalf of your employer, colleagues tend to gather at a local watering hole to relieve stress and discuss the day â€“ 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, â€œYou gonna feed me? No? Meh. Back to bed.â€
But just as I was about to collapse from the never-ending dayâ€™s end, I heard a wail for water. Tip-toeing into the nursery jungle, Destroy hadnâ€™t even lifted his head â€“ 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, â€œHi Mommy.â€ Search sat up, arms outstretched for a hug. How could I resist? â€œI miss you Mommy,â€ he mumbled through the thumb in his mouth.
Lifeâ€™s purpose accomplished.
Until the next nightâ€™s bathtime. A yellow foam educational letter â€œYâ€ was hurled from the tub with great gusto.
â€œMommy, you need to get me my letter back! I miss it.â€
Well, fine. That big empty bed suddenly seems appealing again.