The past week and a half was a sort of rollercoaster ride. I spent the last weekend with family on the other side of the country. My cousin and his family have a beautiful house, and I once lived with them for about three months when I had my first job and didn’t have a place to stay yet. I hadn’t been to their place in a decade, and wanted to see them again. Even though the visit itself was entirely “stressfree” (sleeping in, hanging out, chatting, nothing major going on), exactly the way I wanted it, I was stressing myself while I was there, in a way. From the beginning, I spoke to him about all the things that upset and bother me in my current professional life, about having to change things, and needing to do something else. And the fact that I rolled all of that out, and the difficulty that these feelings and desires and constraints create, was really stressing and bothering me. Even though it was a great visit, and it was so nice to see them all again, and enjoy their company, I left in a strange state of confusion. On Sunday night, I was actually thinking that I needed to quit my job and do something else entirely.
But then this past week, we had our second international workshop at the company. People from all our subsidiaries in Europe and South America came to our headquarters, and we exchanged thoughts and ideas on how to best market and explain our work, educate customers and our communities, deal with specific issues in the daily management of our operations, etc. etc. We’d already done this once at the end of last summer, and the first time around it was a remarkable experience – extremely friendly, productive, intense, inspiring. This time around, it was just like that again. A great atmosphere, an extremely collaborative spirit all around, great fun. It went so well, and I also managed to keep up with my other stuff, which needed to be taken care of alongside the seminar, I came back home in much better spirits. (I was actually away for a day of this little seminar, because on Wednesday I gave a speech at a trade show in the north, so I took a flight there in the morning and came back in the evening. I don’t like flying – I rather take the train, for ecological reasons – but it wasn’t possible any other way this time.) The day before yesterday, on Friday, I was riding the train back home, with relatively little to do, so I could more enjoy the ride, look forward to being back home. I went to see M in her new apartment (she moved out while I was away this past week, and is not happy there, I hope she’ll come around and like the place better in a little while), and then met my colleague Chris for a couple of beers. He runs a small company that I also have a little share in, and we talked about business, and about our collaboration, and about how things are going. That was great fun, too. And so at the end of this past week – even though it was a very busy and intense week – I am way more content with my life and my work than I was after the past weekend, where I was ranting and complaining at my cousin’s.
This weekend, my parents came to visit. We had tea and dinner together yesterday, and now I’ll go and pick them up to go to a museum. I like having them here much better than going to their place. Also, they brought me an old bike which was still at their place, and which I have not used a lot. I am really happy about that, because my mountain bike – which I’d had for more than a decade, and on which I rode through Paris way back – was stolen a few months ago, and I’d been without a bike eversince. I am really looking forward to being able to bike again.