I am writing this from a plane.  Alone.  I haven’t flown alone in a long time, and I had forgotten how much time you have to yourself… and how much you can either be in your own head, make friends with strangers, or get some serious work done. At the airport on my wayout of town, I was early for my flight and literally had no idea what to do with myself.  I was like a lostpuppy- it was pitiful.

I was able attend a conference for work in Washington, DC…a training and development conference that is both huge and pretty dang good.  This is the second time I’ve been lucky enough to attend, and I have left both times with great ideas and my head buzzing with things to incorporate or re-frame within our training and employee development program.  This year, my biggest take-aways will be to incorporate more business relevant evaluations into each of our bigger training programs, to implement some new innovative tools in some of our trainings and resources (videos, empathetic tools to engage, and more), and to find a way to help our leaders think farther outside the box with our staff’s engagement and retention strategies.  I’m excited to start, and it was so fun to learn everything useful for my next year at work.

But what had I really been looking forward to? Honestly?

  • Sleeping, playing, and getting dressed in a hotel room ALONE
  • Working out at least 2-3 times at a gym or running outside… because there was time!
  • Not worrying about our overly messy house, piles of toys, or poop stains
  • Waking up naturally or with an alarm
  • Eating 3 meals a day slowly, alone, and in peace
  • Not having to do bedtime
  • Doing whatever I wanted… for the most part
I must say,… it was awesome.  I am so grateful for our nanny, my hubby, and his wonderful parents who helped make it possible for me.  I also learned something, and I don’t think I expected it.

After only one day… I found myself feeling lonely at times.  I honestly don’t think I had realized that, although my ‘new’ family life was what I was now most familiar to me, that my old life would seem so incredibly empty.  Like… echo in an abondoned wharehouse empty.  Where was all of the noise, the chatter, the laughter, the cries, the questions, the schedule reminders?  How did I live happily before these little people needed my constant attention and reassurance?

Don’t get me wrong:  I did not take for granted one free “me” minute that I had this week.  Not one. I worked out until I could barely walk, and ran in the drizzle to see the reflection pool and Lincoln’s memorial, and slept until 7:30 the last morning.  Those moments were nothing short of blissful.

But it wasn’t the real me.  It was the old me, and I am no longer that person anymore.  And that is ok… and honestly better for now.

If you would have asked me 5 years ago if I would ever be lonely in a hotel room, I would have laughed at you.  “Me?  Lonely?  I was in the Peace Corps, and believe me… I KNOW lonely!”

Ha.  I had no clue.  I had no clue how FULL my life had become. Beautfully full of chaos, madness, and love… and I would not trade it for anything in the world.