And just when we think things are starting to feel grounded, life throws something at us.
A job change.
A sudden loss.
For people who prefer to organize everything (I am talking about myself, here), these surprises can be agonizing, but most of us have developed a basic set of coping skills which allow us to channel our distress into action, rather than meltdown.
This is where I suddenly found myself a couple of weeks ago - on a last-minute flight to Michigan.
Did I want to leave? No. Not that I’m saying that I resent any chance to visit my family, because there was a little bit of me that was thrilled at the opportunity, but the circumstances that motivated my visit were far from pleasant and abandoning my kids one week before the end of term was not my idea of stress relief.
Luckily for me, I have the most brilliant colleagues who were nothing but supportive. Though I could very clearly hear the tiny voice inside my line manager’s head - “Damn you Rodriguez!” - I knew that her words of comfort were genuine.
This was never going to completely quell the unease that I felt about the whole situation, but it did reduce the sense of discomfort from major panic to minor niggling, which just made it a whole lot easier to do what I needed to do.
Also, this impromptu trip meant that I had the hilarious privilege of watching as a couple in first class, armed with a ziplock bag full of cleaning supplies, frantically wiped down the armrests and trays of their fully reclinable seats with sanitizing wipes.
So there’s that.
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