This feels like it’s been a long week. Probably because a lot happened, though it started slow. I spent Monday morning decluttering because we were getting a new cable system installed, which meant no internet. It was working when the tech left, then abruptly stopped, sending me over to my local Regus to rent an office for an afternoon. This obliterated at least one month of savings on the new system…
Anyway, in better news, my 6-year-old daughter tried out for and made a local swim team, which was very exciting. It was unclear a month or so ago that she would clear the bar, but she (and my husband — he was a swimmer back in the day) worked really hard on executing a legal breast-stroke. My husband took her to the try-out at 4:20 p.m. on a Tuesday. He dropped her at home after, did high-fives all around, then took off for the airport and made a 6:30 p.m. flight. He made it back home on Thursday in time to cheer on our 11-year-old who was playing the role of Grimsby in a theater camp production of The Little Mermaid.
I was likewise on the road this week, taking off early Wednesday morning for Chicago, where I gave a speech for a corporate client. Then it was back to O’Hare to fly to Springfield, Missouri on a very tiny plane. I looked out the window on the descent and saw a rainbow leading the way through the sky. It was either a nice welcome to Missouri or an omen of weather to come.
Thursday I recorded two podcasts (other people’s) and then went to the Hickory Hills Country Club for Biz417’s inaugural Ladies Who Launch conference, which I was keynoting. I always like speaking to groups that have already opened the bar. It makes a 4 p.m. speech so much more fun. They were enthusiastic (and well dressed! People pull out the colorful dresses for women’s conferences!) Behind me, I could see folks setting up stacks of Off the Clock outside for the “Rosé with Rosie” reception afterwards (Rosie is a local networking organization).
Then, the books went away. The storm clouds started swirling in. They decided to host the reception as planned (with the books in boxes that could be carted away quickly) and the rain held off. I was excited for dinner plans with Pamela and Sarah, Springfield residents and longtime blog/book readers.
I got in Pamela’s Ford Focus and wow, the wind kicked up. As we drove down a main drag, sudden gusts of wind blew dirt and wood chips from the roadside over us in waves. I wasn’t sure that little car would stay on the road. Then Pamela said “Wait is that…?” She opened the window, and sure enough: the tornado siren.
They take their tornadoes seriously in this part of Missouri, so she made her way through an intersection to a local McDonald’s, where Sarah met us. The staff ushered us all in to the bathroom, where we sat and waited, with everyone looking at their weather apps and reporting on where the storm was passing (mostly south of us it seems).
We didn’t stay in there long. The weather system moved on soon enough, though it turns out there were horrible effects not far from us in Branson. The people who were still at the conference went down to the country club basement and hunkered there for half an hour.
So that was more action than I hoped to have while visiting Missouri. We recovered afterwards, though, and dinner (at Van Gogh’s) was great — the food, sure, but mostly the company. One of the unsung benefits of blogging is making friends all over the country. It makes business travel much more enjoyable. I made it to bed early enough to get up and run before my 8 a.m. flight out on another tiny plane. I was a bit nervous on the way to the airport as I saw dark clouds on the horizon, including ones extending to the ground (I assume this was just heavy rain), moving fast across the flat land.
In other news: Lots of links to share from the past few weeks — this is just a few; follow me on Twitter (@lvanderkam) if you’d like more. I was on the Duct Tape Marketing podcast talking about productivity, and on Bobbi Rebell’s Financial Grown-up podcast talking about the importance of investing in enough childcare. Entrepreneur ran a review of Off the Clock (it also ran at Thrive Global), and Hello Giggles included it in a round-up of recommended books for embracing your inner #girlboss. I got to be a guest on KJ Dell’Antonia and Jess Lahey’s #AmWriting podcast, which was fun because I listen to the podcast (and have gotten to hang out with both of them in person too!) Off the Clock readers will recognize KJ from the chapter on lingering.
I’ve been enjoying reading blog posts from people who’ve tried the suggestions in Off the Clock. Jason over at Balance Both wrote about building good moments into an extra 300-mile trip he had to make as part of a move, and about purposefully having breakfast with a great view on a business trip, rather than watching TV at the hotel breakfast buffet. Good ideas — and ones I hope to implement myself.
I hope you have adventures (but not of the storm variety) planned for this weekend.