A Moment, For Myself

This was one of the worst weeks of my entire life. Don’t get me wrong. There were some significant high points that I will not forget. Like a teambuilding evening at BCN Kitchen in Barcelona with my team of 12 men and me cooking tapas together with wine, laughter and, for the briefest of moments, trust and friendship. I will hang onto that with both hands for a long time. Or the look on my friend Michael’s face when he ate fungi at a Catalan restaurant in Sant Cugat that elicited a laugh from the very middle of me that was so loud and so sudden that it brought a conversation of more than a dozen people to a halt followed by a quiet question from my boss, “are you okay?”

But, the truth is, I’m not okay.

I have been on this plane from Barcelona for 13 hours. It’s a 7 hour flight. But, after a painful takeoff with a head cold and a fever of my own and a short bit into the trip we had to do a U-Turn and land in Portugal due to a medical emergency on board. I am boxed into a window seat by two people with the bubonic plague. One in front of me who insists on reaching over the top of his seat and one beside me who is also spilling into my personal space again and again. As for the woman behind me, she isn’t quite getting the hang of the TV touch screen. It doesn’t require a sledgehammer. I’m pretty sure I’m going to die here.

This is following an incredibly difficult week professionally. So difficult, in fact, that I will spare the details on my public blog. Suffice it to say that I don’t feel appreciated and, in some ways, my professional credibility has been compromised due to the lack of care of others. I stood in front of firing squads. I stood outside of the group of men I call my team. And as I do on so many days, I stood alone. The truth is, I am tired of being alone. I am tired of towing the load for many and sometimes I just need a rest. I. Am. Tired.

During this flight from Barcelona to Timbuktu and back again I read and responded to 200 emails, looked at my kids’ schedule for the upcoming week, reviewed a friends’ writing and prepared a few presentations for next week. I did damage control for damage that was done professionally. I reviewed someone’s resume and pondered how to get my son the part time job he so desperately needs but only after making lists for his graduation party. I worried about my daughter’s apparent allergy to the sun. And I worried about the twins’ special education plans for next year. And I worried about my upcoming meeting with the lawyers this week after being disrespected by the school district for years. I thought about a conversation I had with Padraic about some worries of his as well. I worried about everyone else and then took a moment. And in that moment I felt very alone wondering if anyone ever really worries about me.

Sometimes in life it is not only important, but essential to step back, or stand down, or crawl under the God-damned covers. Whatever it takes to get peace and perspective enough to carry on. It’s time to take a moment, for myself.