This week I flew to Miami for two Operational Reviews, worked like crazy, and hopped on a plane back home. This two day trip of exhaustive hustle left me grateful for the blissful feeling of leaving and coming home.
Traveling is about enjoying all the delightful things another city offers, taking in as much of it's culture as you can, and then coming home to see your own home and way of life with fresh eyes.
When I got back from Miami, my apartment looked more beautiful than when I left, Sunday's fur felt softer, and work felt a little more fulfilling. I looked forward to my morning trip to the gym and reading with the sound of laundry buzzing while spring candles flicker. This is the great gift of traveling: the way it makes the most basic and elemental pieces of our lives feel new, spurring silent thank-yous for warm, familiar beds and routines.
While I didn't enjoy spending Easter Sunday slamming out slide decks and averaging four hours of sleep three nights in a row, I'm grateful for the opportunity to travel professionally.
While in Coral Gables with my clients, I ate one of the best meals of my life at Cibo Wine Bar: their lamb pappardelle (complemented with a very luxe bottle of red wine) is the best pasta I've had, worth every carb and bead of sweat it will require to atone for it.
This week, I found that I love traveling for work. It's the furthest thing from a paid vacation, but it's got that bump and grind, hope and hustle I live for. It's challenging and changing. From finishing slide decks from 10 PM to 1 AM in this lounger on the pool deck to walking in for breakfast to reherse my presentations over orange juice and powerpoint, I loved traveling professionally, and that this is my job.
Two client meet-and-greets, two presentations, and I was back on the plane. Now I'm home sitting at my dining room table, watching and writing as the pool is swept clean of blossoms. I could swear when I left there were blossoms on the trees and two days later I'm back, and they are leaves.
It's interesting how the moments in our lives that give us the most anxiety and cause to ask those Can I Do This? questions, are usually also the moments that change us profoundly and allow us to start asking new questions, while looking back to say, this is who I am and I can do this.
The pace I've kept the past few months makes me realize I need to ensure my life isn't the definition of "going nowhere fast." I've sure been going fast, but where am I going? Is it somewhere I want to go? Is it making me who I want to be? Is there more love than hustle?
Yes and no, change is afoot, I can feel it. But for now, it's good to be back where I need to be, fingers on the keyboard, living and writing...
Praying for the courage to first live these experiences and then write them down.
I'm a writer, it's my thing. Writing heals me, pushes me, and keeps me in shape on the inside. I like what it brings out in me.
I can’t tell you how helpful it is to have tried lots of things and reorganized the math and found the way of living and working that feels right for me in this season. And some of why I’m telling you this is because I think we’re all trying to figure out what we we're made for, and how that calling works in our lives, and how to shift the math season to season.
There are a million ways to be a writer...and a million ways to make a difference, and it’s worth taking the time to listen to your life and listen to your calling and listen to your family and community.
I’ve been terrible at that in some seasons. I’ve struggled under work that wasn’t right for me but I kept going because it was "the plan." Feel free to change the plan. I’ve stayed with things that I didn’t love because it seemed like I should have loved them. Pay attention to what you love, not to what you should love.
Because this is what I know: each one of us was created on purpose and for a purpose, and it’s worth taking the time to ask a million questions: how can I use what God’s given me to make the world better, brighter, more beautiful in this season? And now in this one? And now in this one? - Shauna Niequist
Here's to reworking the math of our lives, month by month, season by season, and continuing to work out how our lives and our careers intersect with what God is doing in our world.
P.S. Shauna Niequist announced (here) she'll be writing another collections of essays AND a devotional due out next year!! 2016's devotional is picked! Yes, I tenatively plan reading years in advance because I want to read EVERYTHING. Next year's devotional is likely Joyce Meyer's Hearing From God Each Morning.