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Do you ever dread going back to work after a long trip, expecting the overwhelming heaps of paper and messages that await you on your desk? I kind of felt this way yesterday, but surprisingly enough the second I stepped foot in my workplace I was overcome with warmth. I missed the faces that I am used to seeing everyday. I missed my morning routine of seeing certain people on my walk upstairs to the office. I was greeted by lots of hugs and questions about Greece, and many of them followed my photos on Instagram as they were happening. It reemphasized how fortunate I was that I got the opportunity to go in the first place. However, it is nice to be back. :)
I have been anticipating a swing in my mood since that’s what usually happens after a long trip. I can get a little down for a short period after the surges of adrenaline from being somewhere new have passed. It also happens because of exhaustion, since that’s my number one trigger for getting overly emotional about anything. However, it has been pretty clear sailing since being back. I am fairly tired, but everything else seems to be in check. I think it’s because I still have many things to look forward to and I am very happy with where I am in the process of several important things. Let’s just say it plainly – I am happy. Right now, this very second. That’s a very nice thing to be able to say.
Did any of you read the Hunger Games trilogy? I read all three while on my trip, and it is still going through my mind. I loved the first and second book, but the third really pissed me off. I am not going to give any spoilers away, but damn, that was a downer. I’ve heard mixed things about the movie, but I would love to see it anyway just to compare it to my own vision from the books. I think that is always an interesting thing to see, how another person interprets a book visually. I have assigned all my own characters, scenes, and expressions already. No wonder it is hard for a movie to live up to the experience of reading a story, because it is so highly personal. Sometimes you can be surprised though, so I am hoping that it lives up to my expectations.
Today I am going to share a few photos from Greece that weren’t on Instragram. (You can view those here.) These are not in any sort of order!
I am back from GREECE!! Thank you all for understanding my lack of writing while I was gone. I am back on a regular schedule now – Monday through Friday as of this very moment.
If I’d known that I could tag my photos on Instagram and they would appear all on one pretty page online… then I would have done it before I left!! But alas, I just figured it out yesterday thanks to a certain James Martin. You can view all of my Greece photos by clicking here! There was also a whole set of photos that I took with the paper James (PJ)…so I will post a few of those in tomorrow’s entry.
Travel changes you. I feel like I’m an upgraded version of the person that I was before I left. We live in bubbles from day-to-day in our normal lives: our work bubble, our social bubble, our food bubble, our experience bubble. When we go somewhere new, we pop them. You learn that life can have so many different variations and paths. It is interesting to see what someone chooses to do who lives halfway across the world. A lot of the hotel workers where we stayed in Santorini only live there 6 months out of the year, and for the other 6 months some of them travel or go back to there respective homes in other countries or parts of Greece. And it’s not like they were super young, either…it is just a lifestyle they choose to have. I admire that. There is something to say about permanence though, and growing a life from the ground up. I enjoy having some sort of normalcy and routine, but maybe that’s because it’s all I’ve ever known.
One person in particular stands out from my trip more than anyone else – and that was meeting my new brother-in-law’s sister Jennifer from Wisconsin. We had never even met before our rendezvous in Greece, and we hit it off instantly. We ran across the Santorini vineyards, drank wine, ate wonderful food, and overall acted like we didn’t have a care in the world. We also experienced a similar bonding moment together when our two siblings married each other. There was an unspoken sense of happiness, nostalgia and overwhelming emotion when we got back to our hotel room that night. Neither of us said much, just understood exactly what the other was feeling. Big life moments like that make you realize that time is indeed always passing by. You live for the moment when a loved one gets everything they deserve, but you also know that once you’ve experienced those big chapters they aren’t likely to happen again. I miss seeing my baby sister Rachel as a child, what a sweet little angel she always was. Now she is a grown woman with a life of her own. We are only left with memories of what used to be. There are so many wonderful moments ahead too, I know this. More memories to make with my sister and her new husband as a family. But I will never forget getting to fix her hair and doing her make-up for one of the most important days of her life. :) I will remember that forever.
I turned my heater on this morning! I would like to say it was for the first time this season… but I did have a false alarm a few weeks ago where I turned it on during the middle of the night. I love the way a heater smells when you turn it on for the first time after the summer. A lot of people hate it, kind of like the way they hate how Subway smells, but it is a favorite of mine.
I have been a major sleeper this weekend. I must have needed it. Not only did I have a 2 hour nap yesterday, but I slept a good solid 9 hours last night too. I think my body requires more sleep than most, even though as I’ve gotten older it’s becoming harder and harder to sleep in. My brain is just programmed to wake up by 8 at the very latest these days.
Weather like this makes me want to go on a trip, not far… just somewhere close by in a quiet place. It really isn’t in my budget to go anywhere until next month after the investment in our short film, but I can still dream. Chattanooga has become a favorite short trip destination of mine, so maybe I can make that happen in November or December. I would like to go somewhere that has a fireplace and is surrounded by trees. Another place that I love is Callaway Gardens on Pine Mountain in Georgia. It is super quiet and beautiful. It’s been awhile since I’ve been there and I’d like to go back soon.
Speaking of our short film, we got to see the first rough cut yesterday! I think I am really happy with it, though I plan to study it more today. It’s funny that it turned out almost exactly the way I saw it in my head, so we did a pretty good job in that respect. Joe Walker, our editor, did some unexpected things as well that I really liked. I think it is important for others to bring their own creative ideas, as it’s almost impossible to think of everything yourself. Being open is the name of the game. He even threw in an alternate ending that is very intriguing. We will see how it all unfolds over the next few weeks…
Welcome, Friday! I have been looking forward to you. After work today I’m heading out-of-town to Chattanooga with a few friends for Vero’s 40th birthday weekend celebration. We are staying on the Delta Queen, which is a hotel that also happens to be a boat. I LOVE not having an agenda when I go places as it leaves me open to do whatever I want, whenever I want. My day-to-day life is very scheduled and preplanned, so my vacations are usually just the opposite. It’s just the same for Bonnaroo next week (Wednesday-Sunday)… I have two bands that I absolutely must see, but other than that I am wide open. My friend Chez has actually mapped out a good deal of the festival so it is highly likely that I will just tag along with her most of the time. The best example of my carefree traveling attitude would have to be my trip in 2007 to the Amalfi Coast in Italy for the wedding of my friends Jill & James. If any of you have been there before then you know it is a really hard place to get to… especially your first time. There are multiple flights, multiple trains, boats, LOTS of stairs, etc., all to get you to paradise on earth. Anyway, long story short, after all of the effort it took to get there I wasn’t about to leave our little villa on the coast, much less the tiny town we were in. So while everyone else did a lot of work to see the sights I soaked up some rays, got lots of sleep, and ate fabulous food. For me, it’s important to just be and absorb a new place without a lot of stress.
Wow, all that talk of Italy really made me miss it. :) I’ve often thought that I could live there if I had a reason (and, of course, learned how to speak the language). I think everyone has a place like that of their own in the back of their mind… somewhere you dream of living, even if you never actually do it. Italy is my place, specifically the charming little town of Praiano. Sigh.
On that note, I hope all of you visit your own special place today… even if it is only in a daydream.
I slept for a little over 11 hours last night!! So glad that today is one of my running off-days. However I am considering going for a quick swim after work just to start getting into the cross-training groove again. One thing is for sure though – I will definitely be going to bed again early tonight! I love some sleep. My body is still trying to catch up.
Do you know what would be great right about now? To hop on a plane to any destination, near or far. Sometimes when I am out running or driving in my car I see planes flying overhead and I make a silent wish to be on it, no matter where it is going. Flying has always translated into vacation & adventure in my life.
Here is a list of my top 5 places I’d fly to today if given the opportunity to choose:
1. New Orleans
3. New York
4. San Fransisco
5. Los Angeles
I’ll take any of those, please. Just tell me when & where to show up.
This week is going to be much cooler with some chances for rain during the middle of the week. On Saturday and Sunday we will experience some freezing weather which will make our long run of 14 miles a little more difficult than usual. I’m already mentally prepping myself so I will be up for it!
Last night Mike and I were talking about what we wanted for Christmas. I plan to do the same thing I do every year – ask for gift cards to my two favorite stores: The Trak Shak and Cahaba Cycle. Since I have two big triathlons coming up in 2011 (the New Orleans Half Ironman in April and the Louisville Ironman in August) I am going to need all of the financial support I can get with gear. Triathlon is not a cheap sport, which is the only negative thing I can say about it. I’ve been building my gear base for years though, so if I do anything I will just upgrade what I already have. It would be super awesome to get a better & faster bike at some point, especially before the full distance Ironman. It would make it easier on my body and my time.
I’ve often asked myself why I am so interested in a sport that costs more than others and requires a ton of training time. The answer is simple – it’s because it’s a sport that requires 100% investment with mind, body, spirit… and wallet. It’s not for the light-hearted experimentalist, you have to be fully dedicated. I love the intensity it requires. I love being surrounded by other people who are just as passionate as I am about finishing. I love that it scares the crap out of me each and every time I enter a race. You never know if you’ll finish, but one thing is for sure… you’ll have to try your best to get there. Rewards are so much sweeter when you have to work hard for them!