Stay At Home Mom

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Business Trip

It occurs to me that today is my first “business trip” in almost 20 years. The last one I was 5 months pregnant with my daughter who is 19. Her birth grounded me — at least as far as work was concerned.

It may not seem all that significant except when you consider I traveled nonstop for a decade straight covering Wide World of Sports — and any kind of sport in between — often visiting two cities in a week. I didn’t know how to be at home.

Many memories came flooding back the minute I began yukking it up with the ESPN travel department — joking, reminiscing and (maybe) gossiping with Andrea (she is the best!!!). And then while meeting other people traveling for business in the airport and learning all about jobs I had no idea existed!! (Later I find out that they Facebook friend requested me [I can make a verb out of anything]. That’s a new thing that didn’t happen 20 years ago.)

I made a concerted effort to go old school today – ignoring the inflight wifi, leaving iPad  at home, and just shutting down completely during the flights. I remember flying being my greatest chance for rest and recovery.

I have my camera so that hasn’t changed!

My daughter is boarding a flight to LA today. Though she hasn’t lived home for 18 months, I still feel this is a big deal. While it may seem a random and sudden topic change, it also feels significant that while she flies further and further from the nest I should also be on a plane traveling to an old space occupied by a much younger me.

Empty Nester Goes Back to Work

Other than my early career, I spent the bulk of my adult life standing behind a kitchen counter. Don’t hear me complaining. I was lucky. I got to stay at home with my kids. I always considered that a privilege. I love to cook. I cooked all the time as the kids were growing and I still do whenever I get the chance. Eighteen months ago, my life changed drastically. My nest emptied four years earlier than I expected. A long term relationship ended. My dad had a stroke and became paralyzed. So I sold my house and moved to be near my parents. I started networking and got back to work. I was a television producer, director, associate director in my early career. I loved it. But I wasn’t looking to repeat. I am older now. I live down south now. I started producing videos for large companies and non-profits. I found a lot of joy working on a smaller and more intimate scale. But when I was asked to shoot head shots and portraits, I’d respond “I am not a photographer.” (Secretly I was. I just had never charged for it.) That has all changed too. The best part of life for me is letting it unfold. Over-planning was never a thing for me. I couldn’t have predicted a year ago that this particular day would have me editing photos, researching for an online education project launch, and “attending” an online meeting (Love those! I stayed in my sweats) — or that tomorrow I’d be flying to Baton Rouge for a show. Work is a tremendous blessing to an empty nester single mom. BUT truth be told, I often take my computer and camera equipment out of my office and into the kitchen because that counter is still my comfort zone!! And I’m happy as a clam to sneak a little cooking in too!!