Over the last year, I’ve travelled a lot. Too much, my husband would say.
For a variety of reasons, I was asked to give presentations around the country and even in Canada. This is how those presentations would work. After agreeing to speak, a travel agent would contact me to determine my travel preferences. They would take care of any and all details. I would go to the airport, get on the assigned plane and fly to wherever I was going that week. I would emerge from the gate, exit security, and be met by a uniformed driver who would whisk me away to the lecture venue. The driver would wait for me to finish and then either take me back to the airport or to a local hotel. One could get used to this.
This past weekend I traveled to Kansas City, Mo., for a meeting. I had to make all my own arrangements, but it was still a nice trip. There were long days but a nice hotel room, great meals, comfortable surroundings, and few distractions. Last night, my husband asked if I’m happy to be home. My answer — an enthusiastic yes.
However, I tried to explain to him the challenge of transitioning from being an important professional to just Jennifer. As I progress in my career, understandably I have greater opportunities to develop my professional reputation and expertise. Along with this comes respect and a certain authority. It can be quite attractive.
Back home, though, I’m just myself — expected to pitch in with dirty diapers, bill paying, wiping noses, and changing my own bed sheets. As big a contrast as this is to my professional travels, I welcome it. It is more real, more enduring, and more fulfilling than the most posh travel or largest audience. All of the professional accolades can certainly make you feel important but being home with my husband and kids makes me feel good. After all, these are the most important people in my life and the ones that I most want to impress.