Last week I had a last minute opportunity I couldn’t pass up- my college roomie’s annual company conference was taking place in Orlando at the Marriott World Resort- a gorgeous city of a place with 72 pools, 16 water slides, 27 restaurants and bars, a spa, , a Costco, it’s own zip code …..or so it seemed. I’ve never seen nything so huge. You practically had to take a shuttle bus from our room in the north tower to the spa in the west tower. I could stow away in her room, get lost amongst the 3000 plus employees of this monstrous company all descended on here to celebrate their achievements and to train, buffered from the last few challenging months, and best of all? My daughters were urging me to go. I chose to think of that as a generous and loving gesture……
I contemplated my workload, appointments that would have to be re scheduled, calculated the total cost, and urged on by my kids….another pause….booked a cheap Kayak flight to Orlando 2 days before her conference. Done.
Not counting the 2 travel days, which never end up being relaxing no matter how we try and plan the flights to allow for some down time, I had 2 days of strict R and R. Work to do, for sure, but nothing that couldn’t be done poolside, even a conference call or 2. Pool time, new book I was dying to dive into, no dishes to do, 5:30 AM school
alarms to or teenagers to annoy or be annoyed by. Me time. Me me me me!!!!
Here’s what I discovered and I’m just wondering if I’m alone here: what’s with the internal running dialogue? The script in your head that goes something like
“Ok, day 1, should I lie here and keep my eyes closed, because I can you know, or should I get up right now and take a run and then come back and write my blog?” No, wait, what about coffee? There’s a Starbucks in the lobby but I can make a semi passable cup here and stay in bed for a few more minutes….. Maybe I should write my blog, get those emails out and then go run….. And then the pool….. Wait, there’s a Jacuzzi too. It’s chilly out, maybe that’s better than the pool. Stop thinking like this. Stop talking to yourself….people are looking.”
There went 15 minutes of trying to figure that out. And I’m not even out of bed yet.
“It’s ok, I’ve got 45 more hours and maybe Friday morning if I plan this right. Just relax for Gods sake. You’ve got time. Hey! Hey! Stop it!“
Fast forward 6 hours later, Suzen to self:: “What have you accomplished? You should have been outside doing this, why aren’t you outside? “ Go out, you idiot! “
So I did. Pissed off at myself. Took a Jacuzzi, dug into my book, for about 90 minutes. It was getting cool out. There’s a poolside café and bar. Should I have a drink? At 4 PM? That’s so early! Is that too early? Am I an alcoholic? Are the kids home yet?
Phone call to home that I shouldn’t have made. Outdoor drink ensued. Screw it.
Fast forward to last day to make this happen for real, to just be in the moment and stop angsting about time that was slipping away. After flipping around in bed to just feel the sheets I wasn’t going to have to smooth, the excel spreadsheet in my head was already started. Blog still not written although I’d made some serious headway on a job I’d been working on, inside, but hey, in the lobby, not the room. That counts, right? Met some cool people and calculated my last hours.
The good news? The only time I wasn’t angsting over my remaining time and how I was not taking full advantage of the glorious sun and warmth was when I was working. I must really love my work. It doesn’t feel like work; I love being immersed in it.
The bad news? See above. I have got to get better at quieting the noise and being in the moment. The moment is what’s important. It’s all we really have. That’s the Zen, which I’m still trying to perfect, sometimes successfully, most times not so much.