Tag Archives: travel

You can’t run away from yourself or, apparently, from SunChips!

Well, we made the move. Though I know the old axiom, “you can’t run away from yourself,” to be true, I think there is always a little secret part of me that hopes the next change of scenery will magically take away all of my fears, all of my pain and make everything magically new and better. Oh, I know all too well that could never be, would never be true. But, how do you turn off all of those secret little irrational thoughts  (good or bad)?

As far as the SunChips, I am a HUGE fan of salsa flavored SunChips. I can never stop with one serving and the kids love them too. I guess I thought that would be one temptation no longer staring me in the face every time I went grocery shopping. Only, guess what they sell in our far off corner of the world? If you guessed SunChips, you guessed right. Who woulda thunk it?

So, how’s life here? Well, many things are good. It is an easy life for expats with good schools for the kids. I am already making friends and do feel connections developing here, as they often do overseas, much easier than random town USA. But, some fears don’t just stop, do they? MC must travel for this job more than the last. I wanted us overseas again so badly. So, here we are.

In reality, I can see and feel that I am not as panicky as I once was on the travel issue. MC is at a big beautiful hotel with his work colleagues (all men). He did call me the other night to tell me that his hotel is a block from the red light district and his group did walk past on his way to and from dinner, including his big boss.He assures me these are top quality guys. But, really, how can you ever truly know. He shared that he realized this was exactly the kind of situation he would have taken advantage of in the past, once the group had split up for the night. He assures me he did not, that before d-day, he wanted to take advantage of such situations, but, he says, that is no longer the case. I do believe him, but there will always be that seed of doubt. I know he was scared to share this with me, and am proud he did. Today, his group, went for a hike. This was on their itinerary from the start. More than anything, however, I think this hike has me more triggered than anything else. But, even that hasn’t really stopped me in my tracks or broken me down or sent me down the rabbit hole. So, there’s that I guess.

 

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Ugh!

MC is traveling on a short trip tomorrow. Trying to be ok with it. He has really limited the travel, but I know that this time it is unavoidable. Still, I don’t have to be happy about it. Of most concern, is not so much the trigger that travel is for me (though ask me again tomorrow). This time it is more about Murphy’s Law.

Both the dog and I seem to be suffering from some major stomach ailment. MC and I were up at 3 AM with the old pup, getting her outside, drinking water and steam cleaning the carpet after the mess she made. Poor pup. We will make it through. Just hope both the dog and I are better before he actually takes off. By the looks of things, I’m not sure that is likely. Ugh!

MC: “Travel travails”

The other week I was out of town for three nights, on a business trip. Last week I was out of town for one night on a business trip. That amount and frequency of work-related travel is quite unusual for me. In fact, it seems to be cyclical. I often have a lot of work travel demands in the August through October period. The rest of the year, my travel schedule is only about one or two brief trips per quarter. This quarter, I had three trips, for a total of five nights.

This created two problems for us. The first is the problem TL described in her post: she wanted me to schedule less trips without conferring with her. One thing I learned from the experience was that when I travel, TL sometimes feels like I would rather be working than spending time together, that I would never say “no” to a trip unless she asked me to do so. This tells me I’ve not done enough to let her know she and our family are my top priority.

We talked more about it this morning. I now understand that TL felt that I never wanted to say “no” by myself and that I depended upon her to set the limits. I now understand that her pushing off decisions was her way of showing that she was not comfortable being put in the position of always being the one to set the limits. It was not my intention to make TL feel she had to set limits, that I was not willing or able to do so.

I did not view it as anyone setting limits. I viewed it as the two of us together making these decisions on a case-by-case basis. And if I traveled, it was not because “she let me travel.” And, if I did not travel, it was not because “she wouldn’t let me travel.” Rather, each trip was a single event that I thought the two of us were evaluating together with neither of us having a bias in favor or against. We did agree on a way to deal with that going forward.

The second problem was TL’s fear when I told her I had lunch in an airport with a female co-worker. Here’s the story. I’ll refer to this woman by the initials CW. CW works down the hall from me. She started just a few months ago. She is friendly, but not awkwardly friendly. She usually says “hi.” On two or three occasions she poked her head into my office to comment on some thing she just saw on the news and to ask my opinion. There are several male colleagues at work who do the same thing. I just try to be polite. CW is out of the office more than I am, for travel or projects. So, I can often go for several days without seeing her. Our little interactions have never seemed unprofessional or too friendly to me. I do make a conscious effort to avoid her, when possible.

On my most recent trip, while I waited to board the plane, I was surprised to find CW waiting to board the same plane. It was not a pleasant surprise. I knew TL would be unsettled by it. But, it was a completely unexpected, coincidental occurrence. I said “hi,” thinking it would be weird or rude if I did not. We made small talk while waiting to board the plane. It was completely innocuous, innocent, professional conversation. I made it a point to refer to my wife and children, in the most loving tones, whenever I could work it into the conversation. On the plane, we were seated several rows apart, so there was no need to talk.

At the layover, we were both headed off to separate flights, to separate airports. CW started waiting for me while I waited for my plane side-checked bag. I said, “Don’t feel compelled to wait for me.” I tried to be matter-of-fact about it. I did not want to be rude to a co-worker. I also did not want to be unnecessarily friendly. She walked off. I got my bag and started to look around for a restaurant. I was starved and it was about midday.

By coincidence, CW saw me. She asked, “Will you join me for lunch?”

I thought as quickly as I could. I was going to have lunch anyway. This woman works down the hall from me. I want to be polite but not too friendly. I decided to accept her lunch offer but to commit myself to purely professional conversation, a brief lunch, and an immediate full report to TL.

I did that. We had a brief lunch. We made pleasant small talk about work, family, and stuff in the news. After we paid our separate checks, I said, “Well, I’m going to hit the men’s room and then call my wife.” I proceeded to do that.

As we were leaving, I said, “Safe travels.”

She said, “Yeah, maybe we’ll see each other there.” She was referring to our firm’s second headquarters, which was where both of us were supposed to end our journeys that day. By then, I had forgotten she was going there too.

I said, “Oh, yeah. Maybe.”

“Give me your phone number,” she said.

I felt a little trapped. I gave her my business card. We went our separate ways. A short time later, she texted me, to give me her phone number. I texted back, “Thanks.” We had no further communication, and I have not seen her since then. Last night she sent me a friend request on Facebook. I immediately showed TL and hit “decline.”

This is the type of woman I would have tried to exploit, prior to D-day. I told TL that now I don’t see CW as an opportunity for an affair. Rather, I see her as an opportunity to demonstrate to TL that I continue to be transparent, safe, and motivated by love for TL. TL and I talked about prevention. For example, if I’m confronted by an impromptu lunch invitation again, I can say, “I can’t. I have an FaceTime date with my wife while I eat.” My plan is to continue avoiding CW, to talk about TL when I am confronted by CW, and to keep telling TL everything that happens.

TL: “TrainWreck.”

I want to see the movie TrainWreck. I LOVE Amy Schumer. Sometimes her comedy is a bit raunchy, I realize, but sometimes she is just so spot-on in such a funny way, I cannot help but love her. Now, the question is whether or not to take Mindless with me to see this movie. I understand the subject of “numbers” comes up, how many people the main character has slept with versus her new boyfriend. This is the issue that fueled so much of MindlessCraft’s self-pity and was a component of the path that led him to such horrible choices. Do I trust that he really is dealing with that issue and take him with me? Lord knows I’ve sat through enough Star Trek and South Park on his behalf. Or, do I go it alone?

Mindless traveled four days last week and two days this week. Given that, I have done surprisingly well. Yes, he calls, texts, FaceTimes OFTEN, he constantly invites me to view his Waze itinerary and routes when driving anywhere. In fact, I can’t get away from the bugger it would seem. Nah, really, it is reassuring. But, last week I started back to school, was on my own with kiddos and would like a little adult entertainment. Ok, get your mind out of the gutter. You know what I mean, drinks and a movie with my husband. Yes, I would like that very much. But, do I dare take him to TrainWreck? What say the peanut gallery?