Being an adult again

After two weeks of silently stressing out, I am breathing calmly again.

I hate to travel for work, most particularly because I feel it is like stealing time from my family. I hate that I don’t get to kiss my kids good night. I fear that they will figure out that life is so much easier without me. I also feel guilty, because deep down, I am actually super happy to get the hell away for a couple of days. I mean seriously, I am in a beautiful city, in a nice hotel, and for the next two days, I don’t have to ask myself questions like, “Why the hell is there a spatula in the toilet?” But, if I do, I suspect it will be much harder to explain than when I am at home.

I am happy to be away, amongst adults, doing grown up things, like sleeping through the night and eating a warm dinner. But, I am glad that the stress of leaving is over. I hate that moment when you say good-bye, it kills me inside. I also hate packing, which really shouldn’t be complicated, but I definitely find a way to make it much harder than it needs to be. The challenge was to pack everything I needed for two (working) days, in a carry on suitcase. That covers laptop, iPad, hair straighteners and clothes for both freaking hot and cold temperatures, for work days at the office and nights out in the city. I think the hardest was trying to choose shoes. Seriously, I managed to bring it down to two pairs, but that took work.

So all the stress is over, I made it through the good-byes, to my car, out of the garage ( with the car fully in tact this time), to the airport and to the hotel. And now, I am sitting outside, breathing calming, looking at this. Not too freaking shabby.
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Living in a tree house: La Cabane Perchée

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My very thoughtful colleagues gave me a weekend in the mountains when I changed teams as a going away gift. It was for four, so I was forced to bring my family with me, but it was still half decent all the same.

They literally rented us a tree house, I cannot being to explain how excited my kids were at the thought of this.
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Not only was the idea super cool, so was the air. When we got there mid afternoon, I had to put on a sweater, a freaking sweater, it was fantastic. Crazy got to wear running shoes and long sleeves, that was his first favourite part.

His second favourite part was when he discovered he would be sleeping in bunk beds. It was a novel concept and he spent every waking minute in the cabin on his top bunk. Interestingly enough, he did not actually sleep there, but preferred a mat on the floor beside our bed. We weren’t surprised.

Squishy’s favourite part of the whole trip was a cricket. Not the sounds of the crickets instead of the rush of cars; it was one cricket. She found it in the grass and watched it “sing”. I’ve never seen her so fascinated.

So, we arrived at our tree house, and went for a wander. Not too freaking shabby.
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We then decided to go out to eat, but didn’t know the area at all. We drove down the mountain side to a village we had seen on the way up in the hopes of finding a restaurant that was open. I picked one at random, that was a little hidden and out of the way. It looked like the restaurant was in an old wine cellar, and I figured it would be fairly temperature constant. I had happily put my sweater on that afternoon, but was exceptionally unprepared for the freaking freezing temperatures that came when the sun went down. Okay, it was 20 degrees, I have become a ridiculous excuse for a Canadian. The server took us down to the cellar and then kept walking right through it, into a back room. Based on the view, this back room was most probably built on a cliff. My picture doesn’t do it justice, but it was totally unbelievable and totally unexpected.

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I naturally wiggled my way into the seat that gave me a view of the door, this is necessary for me to avoid looking over my shoulder every time I hear movement, and it also happened to be the seat with the best view on the valley below us and the mountains in the background. This weekend was just getting better and better.

I of course didn’t sleep that night, nothing to do with the cabin or anything, just the standard too stupid to sleep stuff. I did enjoy however lying in bed, breathing in the smell of the wood cabin and listening to the nothingness. It’s been years since I “slept” in such utter silence. I need a new adjective to stop repeating myself, but it was somewhere along the lines of awesome. In the morning, I woke up to this sight:

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One of the highlights of this area is a wolf park. It is a kind of zoo, but much much more…awesome. There are three packs of wolves that live within a large and protected part of the mountain. We wandered about joyfully before picnicking and heading home.

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I tried really really really hard to complain about something all weekend, and I failed miserably. Even Squishy who sang in the car all the way home instead of sleeping was too freaking cute. So all in all, thanks guys, this was just about the most amazing gift I have ever gotten.

My best friend is trying to kill me

I have an overly motivated friend, who is desperately trying to get healthy and fit, which in theory is a good thing. But she is trying to take me down with her…and with my weak spirit, I am letting her. So, within a few months, I will either be fit and feel great again, or I will be dead.

She is part of a fitness group, and without really contemplating it, I signed up too, quite honestly, because she told me to (I told you, weak).

So today was the first day…and let me explain to you the hell I went through trying to keep up with some relatively fit men, and my friend, sympathetic and kindish, but still much more fit than me.

It’s an interesting program, there is a bit of jogging, a bit of interval training, a bit of muscle whatever, and a bit of stretching, so it’s not boring. It’s outside, which is awesome, I love being outside. It’s at lunch, so it doesn’t take away from my evenings, or force me to get up early (which is essential to my survival).

But, it’s outside and at lunch, that is during the hottest frickin part of the day. In fairness to the trainer dude, he does look for shade, but running in 30 degree weather is not my cup of tea.

So I came armed with my son’s cooling scarf that I tied around my waist, and a bottle of water, for either drinking or pouring over my head, depending on the urge that hit me. We started off slowly, jogging gently, and then suddenly everyone seemed to pick up speed or maybe I just slowed down to a walk, I don’t know. Either way, I was the last straggler who arrived for the first set of interval training. I managed I would say, most of the exercises and only had to fully give up once. By this point, I was no longer able to speak, mainly due to the fact that I was barely able to breathe.

So after that nightmare, guess what, more running. WOOHOO, my legs were still working, which was a surprising. They no longer knew how to run, but that’s beside the point.

Then it was into the forest trails, and it was like breathing fresh air. I felt lighter, I felt my energy level go up, and I felt like I could keep up. I did, for a total of 3 minutes, wait let me do that math again, yup, 3 minutes. Then I crashed again and went back to walking. The trainer fully gave up on me, and told me I could walk up the hill and wait for them while they finished their running. I didn’t object.

So, after my wimp out, it was time for abs and such, something I could keep up with, so I felt my confidence come back. We stretched a little bit and then we were to jog back. I felt pretty good and thought we could jog back to the starting point, naturally I felt this as we were going back down the hill. Once we were on flat ground and I had to carry my own weight, well, my optimism was quickly met with reality.

So now, after being a massive athletic failure, I am feeling only mildly dejected. This is mostly because I am so focused on feeling exhausted, and drained of all life. I am also feeling terrified because I may feel awful now, but it is only a fraction of what I am going to feel tomorrow morning.