I am writing this in a hotel room, on my first business trip in approximately 21 months. It is not my first night away from the baby, because I traveled with my older three children twice over the past year. However, it is my first night away from everyone.
I feel like I’m rusty…driving to the airport, going through security. At least the airlines appear to have been preserving people’s frequent flyer status from before the pandemic, so I was upgraded, which was nice. A glass of wine on a plane. And reading on a plane! With no one needing anything. I switched seats so a couple could sit together and they held hands through the whole flight. I didn’t need to sit next to anyone, so I had that flexibility.
I also did not need to tell anyone it was time to go to bed — something I have also done every night for the last 21 months. Sadly, I did not sleep as well in my hotel room as I could have. But I did wake up on my own (a few minutes before my alarm) rather than to someone calling “Mama!” I will get there eventually in my normal life too I am sure but it is also intriguingly different to start the day with a cup of coffee and a blog post rather than the school runs.
We shall see what life looks like in another year or two. I am not speaking this week (the work trip is something else) but that’s normally why I travel. I had built up my speaking business to a good place in the three years after my TED talk. I traveled to talk somewhere most weeks between March-June and Sept-October (peak conference season). Covid obviously changed that. I have been doing a lot of virtual speaking, which I like, but it’s got a different rhythm. It has been lovely not to have the same logistical pressure of figuring out overnight care and pumping and such. Pumping this morning reminded me of that! But there is something to be said for leaving normal life for a night or two occasionally. Hopefully there will be a good balance in the future…