Last week was a tough week. It was my first week back at work after the Christmas and New Year holiday break. The first week working after a period of not working is never easy. I find I can become quite used to not working quite easily…especially when there are lots of other things to do and other people to do them with. So starting to do – and to think about – work things is never easy. That’s OK though – the only way to avoid that feeling is to never take any time off…and that’s not a good option!
I also travelled to the mid-west. Travelling in that first week back sounds like a good idea. It’s a good week to catch up with people as schedules are not ever quite so busy. But it’s a tough week to travel. The weather can be problematic in the US at this time of year – and I flew through both New York and Chicago. And it’s tough to leave home after being at home for two weeks. It’s even harder to leave my family at home after being at home with them for two weeks.
I met lots of people last week – friends at work, good friends at work and new friends at work. We met in rooms, over coffee, in meetings, over lunch, in corridors, and over dinner. I even had one meeting – briefly – during my morning work out! All of our discussions were very important and highly valuable…but some were more straightforward and more enjoyable. Some were more complicated and more hard work. Some involved sharing of very good news. Others didn’t.
I laughed a lot…which is always good. I listened a lot…which is always important. I thought a lot…which is nearly always a good sign. And at times – often early in the morning – I thought too much…which is seldom good. I talked a lot, and I learned more. I worked hard. And working hard felt like much harder work than it normally does (which I assumed was more evidence of that first week syndrome).
I flew back Thursday – and despite the time of year, all my flights…all week… were on time. I normally sleep very well on those overnight flights from the US back to the UK. I slept very badly last Thursday. It was strange really. All I can assume it was the tough week…or maybe thinking too much. Either way, I knew how tired I was in the morning when I saw my reflection as I made my way through Heathrow airport on Friday morning. I even fell asleep in the car on the way back from the airport – something I never normally manage to – or even want to – do. I worked from home on Friday…it was a long day, but I spoke with some great people…which helped greatly.
And then it was my daughter’s birthday on Saturday. A big day. A lovely family lunch together. In a very nice fish restaurant. Followed by coffee and shopping – my son and I drank coffee whilst my wife and daughter went birthday shopping. We finished before they did so we all ended up birthday shopping. A great day. Tiring after my tough week, but wonderful.
And then today both my daughter and son went back to University. By plane and car. It was fantastic to have them home for the holidays. It was hard to let them go off again. But they are doing so well. I am so lucky. We are so proud. I miss them so much.
A tough week. A long week. The first week. Tomorrow is next week.