Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Feeling like a grown up (warning - dorky, random story to follow)

I’m from “the small states” where paying for parking is all but unheard of except in “the downtowns”. I know in large metro areas, paying for parking is expected and no big deal. But in OKC we just don’t pay for parking unless we’re going downtown or in Norman on football gamedays.

So, it’s funny to me that a true turning point in this whole attempt to think like I’m 30, instead of the perpetual 19 I feel like every day, had to do with parking.

A few months ago, you may recall that I attended a dream concert of New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys in Tulsa. I loaded up some of my best girlfriends for an all out road trip 90 minutes North. Despite my best attempts, we didn’t plan our dinner very well, and ended up at a subpar restaurant in trendy Utica Square because none of the good ones were open on Sunday (don’t get me started). At that point, we were cutting it close so we ate and then headed to the arena.

Once we pulled up, we had to decide where to park. Time was running out and there were two carloads of us when my friend Brooke said confidently “we’re parking in THAT lot”. THAT lot was the $20 lot. Right across from the arena, it was prime and not all that crowded. But it was TWENTY DOLLARS. No one pays that kind of money, evident by the scores of people lining the main street walking from their $5 lot half a mile away.

But Brooke had been using a certain kind of logic for quite some time and I felt it surge through me as I pulled into the lot. “I’m 30 years old, I work really hard, I make decent money. I’m parking in THAT lot” I announced to my passengers. And I did, and it was awesome, and it made leaving the arena SO EASY.

Now, I’m aware that’s an awfully dorky story. And you’re probably thinking “seriously, $20?”. But that was a big moment for me. We’ve been so entrenched for so long in paying down debt, and we’re not used to this sort of thing…it was a big moment. Despite over a decade of coupledom with my husband, 2 beautiful children, buying 2 different houses, and traveling across the country for business…I still often feel I’m not older than a college sophomore (there's a whole embarrassing story about this, and it's why I don't really work with interns anymore because I "try too hard"). But that night, in addition to my awesome concert experience with awesome people, I felt like a grown-up.

Trying not to recite this logic when I go clothes shopping.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Wanderer

So, by nature of some responsibilities I've taken on at work this year this September was full of travel for me. I naturally avoided thinking about it until the first trip, because 6 cities in 3.5 weeks makes for way too much pre-trip anxiety. But, I'm on the other side of the travel and can breathe a little easier.

More than ever this year, I got the comment "how do you do it?" from clients and coworkers. My response each and every time was that I have a rockstar husband. He's one of those that doesn't get phased by taking care of two toddlers by himself. He loves being with them, and they're more than comfortable with daddy time.

It wasn't always this way, and I can't imagine anyone who could naturally take that on. Actually, I've always traveled quite a bit and I have to say that when I first started taking trips we experienced the most difficult period of adjustment. And that was BEFORE kids. It was really hard figuring all the logistics out. I don't know why, but something in John just changed when we had kids and he was more at ease with the travel.

When Colt was a baby and when Owen was first born, we had our parents and sisters down the road that helped A LOT. I don't think we could have done it without them. But now, many times during my time away John won't call anyone. He just handles it.

I have some routines I follow when leaving town - I make sure the house is clean, dishes done, groceries are at least semi-stocked. I set out full outfits including socks for the boys for each day I'll be gone. I check their school sheets to see if any special days are happening (snow cone day or show and tell) and leave the right things. I make sure they're stocked on diapers for school so John doesn't have to run to the store. I try to make sure all laundry is done and put away, but more often than not there's a load left in the dryer. I set medicines out. I make sure I give the boys a bath the night before I leave, because John is not a huge fan of bathing both boys by himself...I'm not normally gone more than 2 nights at a time but still. And I try to pass on my flight and hotel info to him in e-mail form just in case.

We just have this silent routine that makes everything as easy as possible on him. I don't know how we did it, we just did. I'm thankful everyday that he encourages my work and the opportunities it has afforded me.

I've always been a caller - someone who calls when walking to my car or in between meetings. But after obsessing over watching a lot of the show "Disappeared" this summer on the ID channel, I now make sure I always call when I land, when I'm in a cab, when I'm headed out for an evening, and when I am in for the night. And especially when I get home and walk to my car at the airport by myself.

I know that as the boys age, it will not only be emotionally more difficult to travel often but logistically as well. But for now, I'm enjoying the routines and watching the boys thrive with their Dad.