Need a Refill

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I don’t even know what to write about.  All I know is that it helps me to write.

I’m traveling again, and I am lonely.  This is a trip that I’ve taken too many times.  I am at the state capitol for a legislative forum.  While I know that this is important, I also know that I have more important things going on locally.  More immediate issues require my attention.  I have brought staff along with me on this trip so that I can hole up in my hotel room and work from my laptop.  I wish that I could have stayed home, but the bureaucracy I am part of requires that I attend this forum. I tried my best to delay my appearance for an additional day, but that same bureaucracy won’t allow my staff members to drive an official car.  I could have asked them to take one of their personal vehicles, but I just couldn’t.  Even though they would have been reimbursed, it didn’t feel right to ask.  So I drove the official car.   It feels like I am their mother chauffeuring them on a field trip.  They are excited, and I’m happy to see that at least.

I’m tired, worn out,  and stressed out.  My day did not start well.  Nothing particularly bad happen, but as usual, it was the things that didn’t happen that made me feel sad.  T, the girls, and I have a regular morning routine.  Everybody goes about their business getting ready for work or school.  We all do our own thing and stay out of each other’s way.  I was upstairs dressing when I heard the back door slam shut.  They were gone.  No one had said goodbye.  I was leaving on a trip for three days.  I didn’t even want to be going, and yet, they didn’t seem to remember or care.  When I heard the door close, I stood there for a moment thinking, “My God.  They are all gone, and they won’t even miss me.  I am not important to anyone at all.”  It was such a lonely feeling.  Yes, I’m glad that my absence doesn’t cause anyone anguish or stress, but I’d like to think that I might be missed just a little bit.  😦

I took a few minutes and pulled myself together, then I called T.  “You didn’t even say goodbye.”  In fact, we hadn’t said one word to each other all morning.  He had gotten out of bed before me and headed downstairs.  When I had gone down for a cup of  coffee, he had been in the bathroom.  Two ships, silently passing, but not crossing paths.  He seemed stunned, and said, “I forgot you were going to be taking a trip.”  He forgot!!!  HE FORGOT!  My suitcase was packed and sitting in the corner of the bedroom, but he had forgotten that I was leaving.  For a moment, I wished that I hadn’t called him.  I wondered how long it would have taken any of them to realize that I was missing.  Of course, he apologized.  He blamed the busy morning routine.  He blamed the stress of work.  He said that he had been thinking about all he had going later that day.  Sure, I understand that, but it still didn’t feel very good.

I drove to work in silence.  I looked out across the fields.  I missed my dad.  I wished that I could call him.  Whenever I had been lonely, he had been there for me with a smile in his voice.  He had always been happy to have me in his life, and I miss that feeling.  I don’t feel special or important to anyone these days.  Yep, I’m feeling sorry for myself.  I miss being someone’s first thought, not everyone’s afterthought.

When I got to the office, my desk was messy and piled high with papers, files, folders, and binders.  Emails were in the inbox.  The light was flashing on the phone.  People were waiting to talk to me.  I had loose ends to tie up from an event on Saturday.  I had to get ready for this trip.  I felt overwhelmed, and I once again wondered what in the hell I am doing with my life!  I sat down behind my desk and stared at the screen.  I didn’t even know where to begin.

Once again, I am stretched to my limit.  I have too much to do and too little time.  I will be here working alone in this room all day tomorrow, and it’s a really crappy hotel.  It stinks.  It’s ugly, and the bed is uncomfortable.  (Hence the late night/early morning blogging!)  This hotel is an example of a historic renovation project that is a big-time fail!  Tomorrow night will be full of networking (which I am tired of!) and socializing (which I don’t give a darn about!)  The one redeeming factor is a workshop on Wednesday being presented by a friend who knows her stuff.

Thursday and Friday, I’ll be back in the office.  Those two days are packed to the brim.  I have tried to schedule as much as possible on those days, because on Saturday I leave again for a week.  I’m heading to Baltimore to attend a conference.  This is a trip that I am both dreading and anticipating.  I’m tired, and I want to stay home.  BUT….I so looking forward to seeing a friend that I have dearly missed.  My dear friend, Rosemary, from Georgia will be meeting me.  Rosemary and I met at a conference in Chicago in 2008.  She’s a gem.  She is one of those fine people who never make you regret allowing them a place in your life or in your heart.

As I soaked in the tub tonight, I thought about my day.  There hadn’t much enjoyment.  The day had been busy as hell.  My day began at 6:00 a.m. and ended after 10:00 p.m.  I had talked to a lot of people, done a lot of things, and driven a lot of miles, but had I actually accomplished anything?  Had any of the interactions been rewarding?  Had any of the work really mattered?  I felt like a cog in a wheel.  I am just part of a machine….just doing my part, functioning, an automaton.    Once again, I wished for a hug.  That’s it.  I just wanted kindness, tenderness, and caring.  I wished for a hug.  That seems like a pretty simple request, a basic need, and yet….I could not remember the last time I had been held by another human being.

Is this it?  Is this what my life is, has become, will continue to be?  What would happen if I stopped?  Would anyone notice then?  What if I sat down and said, “No, I’m not going to Springfield or Chicago or Baltimore.  No, I’m not going to cook or clean or respond to emails or answer the phone.  Nope, I refuse to move until someone hugs me!”   Certainly, I would lose my job.  Of course, that isn’t what I want.  Normally, I love my work, it is just lately that it all seems to mean very little.  The responsibility is being heaped on more quickly than the rewards.  I am running on empty, and I need a refill soon…

You get what you put in, and people get what they deserve.

Still I ain’t seen mine…no I ain’t seen mine.

I’ve been giving, but just ain’t been gettin’.

I’ve been walkin that thin line.

So I think I’ll keep a walking with my head held high.

I’ll keep movin’ on, and only God knows why.

~~ Kid Rock

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6 thoughts on “Need a Refill

  1. “I just wanted kindness, tenderness, and caring.” I think this would be the heart-cry of many people…kindness, tenderness, and caring seem to be sorely missing in our world. I have said many times, “My pool of reserves is nearly empty. More is going out than coming in. I need a refill.”

    May your pool of reserves soon be filled.

  2. I send you a cyberhug, there in your gross hotel room. Thanks for being there for me yesterday. I’m sorry I didn’t know about how YOU were feeling. And by the way, I love Baltimore, and wish I could go with you.

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