Best start ever to a work trip

Other than when work sends me to Paris, which I definitely enjoy, I don’t particularly enjoy work trips. Especially solo work trips. Especially solo work trips to the USA: their politics frustrate me no end, and more importantly, I can’t handle the portion sizes at restaurants. Depending on the location, I’ve gone a week without eating any fresh vegetables because that wasn’t part of the menu at the restaurants. It’s not so much a question of gaining weight, even though I inevitably do during a week-long trip. It’s the bloating, and the constant feeling of fullness, and the icky digestion, that comes from eating in restaurants non stop. Add to that the time constraints that prevent exercising as much, if at all, as I would normally do at home, and the corresponding strain on my mental equilibrium… Work trips make me feel gross.

I was scheduled to spend 1 week in Tualatin (suburb of Portland), OR this week. I didn’t wanna go. For the reasons stated above, but also because these kind of mandates are rather stressful, and require good planning, focus and delivery. I haven’t been performing anywhere close to my normal output for the past 6 MONTHS. I might be doing and getting better, but I worried that this trip might be too much, too soon. I had never met any of my coworkers at the Tualatin office, so that meant a week of socializing with strangers. To make matters worse, my flight was at 5:30am on Monday (yesterday) morning. Y’all. I am the LEAST morning person EVER. EVAAAAARRRRRRRRRRR. 5:30am! The horror.

All in all, I felt nothing but dread for this trip.

Well.

Guess who called me at 2:50am yesterday morning, to make sure I woke up in time for my 5:30am flight? That’s right. ICB. (Yes, I am behind in my posting, so here is the abridged version: a handful more dates, and a 6 hour drive home from Boston that was one delightful non-stop conversation. He knows that I don’t cook. He knows I don’t drive. He knows I take medication for my ADD and he knows I have depression. He knows I failed out of engineering before graduating top of my class in accounting. He knows about this blog. He knows quite a bit about me, and has not yet run for the hills. What do I know about ICB? Some things, but not many, it’s true. He is a damned reserved man and I am enjoying every layer he peels back, bit by bit. I know that I feel safe with him. I know he makes me smile, so much, so often.)

So. Yeah. 2:50am. I did not hit snooze, I did not fall back asleep. I got outta bed and made my way to the airport. I made my flight. When I teased him as to why he would do such a thing, he explained that he is a lighter sleeper than me, so he figured he should put that to good use. Bruh. 93.7% of the world’s population is a lighter sleeper than me, but they ain’t calling me to make sure I make my early morning flight. Nice try.

Acts of kindness always take my breath away. At the risk of sounding like an autistic alien, kindness is not something that comes naturally to me, nor am I particularly used to receiving. Not sure why, possibly because kindness and vulnerability are siblings, and I do my best to avoid vulnerability always, keeping everyone, including friends and family, at a comfortable safe distance. That’s how I feel least threatened, normally. I’m prickly, like a hedgehog. And because I am prickly, I am not used to being cared for, even momentarily (e.g. Dynamo. Allie. GAB). I am used to clear transactions. Birthdays: gifts. Christmas: gifts. Favors for favors. But kindness? It doesn’t fit into my neat world of debits and credits. But… It fills me with gratitude. Bewilderment. Wonderment. And it makes me smile, so hard.

That ICB. Damn.

And just like that… my trip so far has been really enjoyable. My coworkers are friendly. The weather is beautiful. I’ve chosen to walk to and from the office to the hotel, a beautiful sunshiny hour long walk, each way. With geese.

My hotel is lovely, with a restaurant that has a fairly healthy menu. The portions are not toooooo crazy. I ate breakfast and supper today, skipped lunch, and I didn’t feel like I’d burst or gross.

The skies are the bluest blue. The walks are doing wonders for my mood, and allow me to see the unexpected like this totally non-ironic display of car husks.

2 days down outta 5, I am behind where I should be, but the work is going and I am not panicking. Each day is better than the previous, I am more focused than I have been in ages, and while I might not accomplish everything I should in the established time, I am very grateful to realize I am capable of delivering more than I could 1-2 months ago. Progress.

Not bad for a solo work trip I dreaded with every fiber of my body!

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16 comments

  1. Oh my God those geese! I’m glad you’re having a good trip. I agree that portion sizes in America are insane. You wouldn’t believe the amount of photos I have of restaurant meals from trips to the the States just to record my sheer amazement that people EAT THIS. Like, ALL THE TIME.

    I still dream of that deep fried butter though.

    Mmmmmmm…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oregon is like … the place to go if you detest American Culture. They have all of that garden-variety health food and organic what-have-yous. A lot of people that aren’t into that stuff, just refer to Oregon as the “hippie, tree-hugger state” Conservatives call it a Liberal Cesspool. I refer to it as “the state where weed is legal” … lol So I would imagine that you would quite enjoy yourself there, if other parts of the USA piss you off.

    Makes you wonder why people try so hard to come to the States.But, I don’t think I could live anywhere else. I’d never step my pinky toe into Canada … because seriously, fuck your snow.

    I hope you have a great time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahahahahha, I knoooooooooowwwwww our snow pisses me off too. #neversatisfied

      Honestly, I am amazed by what I’ve seen so far. It’s like I am in a time zone, 1950s, peaceful, happy, safe suburb.

      I could never live here, but I can see how ppl could.

      The thing about the States is that it is so diverse it can’t be generalized much about. There are pockets I enjoy and pockets I really dislike, and everything in btn. Same with their politics. Same with their economy. Same with their cuisine. It is a country of unreconciled extremes…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yo I live in the states (Canada’s friendly neighbor Michigan to be exact) and the restaurant portions drive me crazy!
    Once I asked if I could substitute the children’s burger patty for the 1/2lb monster they had on special. After checking with the management the waitress told me they could but I’d have to pay $2 more for it… MORE for less burger?!?! I don’t get it. Who eats a half a pound of beef in one sitting? No wonder obesity is an epidemic here.

    Like

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