Hurricane Irene: Helpless in Paradise

I should have known when they told me I was going to Hawaii for work to expect the unexpected, I mean really, Hawaii...for work?  Little did I know my loves would have to encounter three natural hazards during my absence.

It all started last Tuesday when, after 14 hours of travel time, I arrived in Honolulu.  I sent the hubby a text as soon as I landed telling him I was safely on the ground and I would call when I got to the terminal.  Our conversation went something like this...

"Well, did you see my text, we had an earthquake!"

"What?!?" I shouted, "An earthquake!"  In a bit of disbelief, amazement and shock, I quickly looked around and realized I was indeed shouting.  My first thought, "I need to call Mom, she's going to be a nervous wreck."

"No need, I just talked to her.  Told her you landed.  And, we're getting a hurricane this weekend."

Thankfully, the boy slept through the hurricane so no worries there.

I didn't know what to think...but I did know that I owed Ro BIG TIME! Not only was I leaving for 13 days...I was mid flight during an earthquake and now there was "a hurricane a comin!"

Work proceeded as normal for a few days however, as we approached the weekend, it was clear that they were expecting the worst for the east coast.  The "R's" went searching for flashlights, another propane tank, milk, bread, water, etc.  No flashlights to be found in NJ...(and yes, now I know what to buy for an emergency kit...in fact, now I know why you need an emergency kit!)

I talked to Ro yesterday around 3:00 PM (Hawaii time) and we agreed that, should the power go out, we would communicate via text periodically throughout the night so I would know they were okay.  Don't ya know, power went out about 3:30...and, as I was lounging out by the pool perusing Facebook (remember, it was Saturday = my day off), I discovered that not only were we expecting Hurricane Irene, and potential flooding, now they were calling for tornados.  So, in an effort to save battery life on his phone, I sent him a text letting him know they were now expecting tornado's and suggested they move to a safe part of the house (inside walls, no windows.)  He texted back saying that he was sleeping outside of Roland's room and would text me in the morning.

At this point, there was nothing more I could do.  I did decide that there was something inappropriate about me lounging by the pool while my guys were trying to stay safe from the storm, so I packed up my bag and headed back to the room to watch the coverage on CNN.  This is the second time as a mother that I felt an extreme sense of helplessness (another blog post to follow on the first situation).  There was nothing I could do.  I simply had to trust that Ro had it all under control, and put my faith in God that he would protect them and he did.


Business Travel

A few weeks ago, guilt reared its ugly head again.  (Coincidentally, it did so today as well...)

The reason: business travel.

As the week started, I was excited and overwhelmed at the same time.  Monday was a vacation day so the Hubby and I could spend a relaxing afternoon at Citizen's Bank Park cheering on the Phillies.  Then, it was off to San Diego for two days for business, back on Thursday to spend a few hours with my boys then off to Dahlgren, VA for a business meeting on Friday morning.  I needed to make sure everything was in line at the house before I left and make sure things were running well at the office during my leave.

I woke up feeling a bit off on Monday and by the evening, it was clear that flying wasn't in my near future...I had the stomach flu.  So, quickly the plans changed - Tuesday was a sick day for me and I ended up working from home on Wednesday.  Luckily, I was traveling with another co-worker to San Diego, so he traveled out for the meeting and I participated via teleconference Wednesday afternoon.  I should have taken Wednesday as a sick day too, but no, I decided to take the time with NO interruptions to catch up on some work, and by the time the teleconference was complete, I had logged a 12 hour day...not necessarily a good idea while you are trying to recuperate.  Guilt #1.

I was back in the office on Thursday, logged another 8 hour day, got my rental car and traveled home to wait out my departure so I wouldn't be bogged down with traffic.  By 7:00, it was time to leave...on a 3 hour journey.

As I was driving, I occupied my time listening to the Gayle King Radio Show on the Oprah Network (yes, I made friends with the lady at Avis...she made sure I had an XM car!) and I started thinking...

I was traveling to Dahlgren for a business meeting.  When the meetings are held in Moorestown, I attend for the opening remarks, and my presentation only - a total of maybe 20 minutes, tops.  Here, I was traveling a total of 8 hours for a 10 minute presentation...3 slides total.  Needless to say, I was frustrated. I was even more frustrated when I arrived at the meeting on Friday morning and saw a live video feed from my home office.

The following week at our staff meeting, our leadership asked for ways to make our meetings more productive, so I decided to share my frustrations with the set up of the meeting.  Bottom line, my frustrations were heard.  Through explaining my frustrations to management, I did realize that this was an opportunity for me to interact with those individuals from my customer set that I don't get to interact with on a daily basis.  Frustrating, but perhaps good for the career.  ;)

What To Do With Free Time...

Hello Blog Followers!! It's been a few weeks since I've had a chance to write a blog post, but I wanted to let you know, I'm still here! 

The past month has been crazy to say the least, filled with visits from family, travel, the stomach flu, a crazy work schedule, SWE FY12 planning and preparation for a two week business trip.  Yes, you can say the "G" word is back...Guilt, as I sit on the first leg of my journey, knowing that it's going to be a long 13 days before I see my Roland's again.  But as I sit here, I'm wondering...what in the world am I going to do with all of my free time?!?! 

No cleaning, preparing daycare meals, or even dinner for that matter...no laundry, grocery shopping...for the next 13 days, life as I know it may a bit less chaotic.  As I packed my carry on baggage last night, I realized that I am a "Go Getter" in every sense.  My carry on bag contains: 

- A new knitting project - a sweater for Roland's school picture in September (another project on top of the  20 I have already started)
- An old knitting project - a prayer shawl for my dear friend April
- My laptop - to catch up on blogging, SWE planning, etc. 

According to my packing, it should be a successful trip :)