On The Road Again…..

Hello, Friday!! Let me tell you, today couldn’t have come at a better time, it has been a LONG week! This week’s pondering is about road trips. Not the kind from college where you loaded 5 people into a compact class car on a whim and drove all night until got to wherever you decided to go. Not the kind where you and your spouse pack up the car, leave the kids at grandma’s and spend a weekend alone together with no cell service (how amazing does THAT sound though?!). I’m talking about ROAD TRIPS. What’s the difference between road trips and ROAD TRIPS you may ask? Well, let me give you an example.

My hubby, the Coach, and his band of merry men (otherwise known as the football team) have been road warriors in October. Now, I realize that it’s only the 17th and October is really only half over, but stay with me. Counting this weekend’s adventure, our football players and coaching staff will have spent about 14 hours on planes, 66 hours on busses and traveled about 5,600 miles. Before the month of October comes to a close, they will travel ANOTHER 1875 miles and spend ANOTHER 30 or so hours on a bus. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s 14 hours by plane, 96 hours by bus and 7,475 total miles. I don’t care how you break it down, that’s A LOT of miles. They will have traveled through South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California, Washington and into Canada. Later this month they will go back through Wyoming, Colorado and into Utah. That’s after another trip at the end of September where they traveled 26 hours round trip and traveled around 1600 or so miles through South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. 10 states and 2 countries all in about 6 weeks.

I know what you’re thinking; football teams travel all the time. This is nothing new and besides, it’s not like they didn’t know what they were signing up for. And I would agree with you! For the most part. This is travel at an unprecedented level. At the beginning of October, they went to Northern California. It was 30 hours, one way. On a bus. Because the cost to fly was NOT in the budget. They left on Thursday and got back at 3:00 am Monday morning. That’s significant for a lot of reasons. The most obvious of which is the players missed 2 full days of classes and then had to operate on only a couple of hours sleep. I know that’s not unusual for kids of that age, but have you ever tried to sleep on a bus? Yeah, no bueno. The second reason getting home in the middle of the night is significant is the coaching staff missed an entire day of work. Sundays are a full day of film, game planning, meetings, etc. You can’t do a lot of that on a bus nor do you want to. When you’re having the kind of year like we are (not a fantastic one), it just adds to everyone’s stress. To add yet another wrinkle to this already bizarre season, there is no bye week in our schedule. I’ve never considered them before, but now I see how critical a bye week is to a team. It’s time for players to heal up, get some treatment on their injuries, take a few days off to catch up on school work or sleep and just decompress and get ready for the rest of the season. For coaches, it’s much needed family time. I didn’t realize how important that was until this season. My husband brought me flowers yesterday for no reason at all and I absolutely lost it. I knew this season had me stressed, but I had no idea HOW stressed until I burst into tears over grocery store flowers. 🙂

Finally, and this is sort of selfish of me, we just flat out miss my husband! My girls don’t see dad much anyway during the season. He’ll walk them to school whenever he can and that might be the only time they get with him for that day. If he gets home “early” (early is defined in coaching as before 8:00 pm), we try and get ice cream or make dinner as a family in between soccer practice, games and gymnastics practice. We get our Friday night date nights at high school games (I blogged about that a few weeks ago, here) but we don’t get any just us time. We usually catch up on sports highlights and talk about our days whenever he gets home, which I wouldn’t trade for the world, but our time together is almost non-existent, especially this season.

For now, the dog and I will enjoy having the entire bed to ourselves and I will enjoy falling asleep to my true crime shows instead of SportsCenter. I will treasure not getting up to an alarm on Saturday morning and being home to watch college football all day instead of racing from game to practice to game to dinner, but we will miss him. And yes, in a few short weeks I will probably be writing about how much I miss all of this madness and how my husband is annoying me and I can’t wait for the next recruiting trip! But today, in this moment, I’m ready for a slow down.

Have a safe, happy weekend all!

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What You’re Worth

Monday: Gymnastics; Tuesday: Soccer; Wednesday: Gymnastics; Thursday: Soccer; Friday: Family Night; Saturday: Football; Friday: Flag football. Look familiar? I’m sure that lineup looks like many of yours during this time of the year. Some, if not most of us, also work a full time job, plus we have to squeeze in dishes, laundry, cleaning, friends, family and date night in that time. It’s exhausting. It’s doubly exhausting when your husband is gone 120 hours a week. Now, I’m not complaining or whining. Far from it. I have several single mom friends (I was one myself not so long ago) and I have several military spouses. I am in NO WAY comparing my life to theirs. At all.

The point to this post is when you see a schedule like that, it can be daunting. When you throw in a demanding job and subtract your spouse for a significant period of time every week, it’s even worse. It can be draining both emotionally and physically. Since camp started this year, I have been struggling in my personal and professional life. I was sick the entire first week of camp, my dad had a heart attack, my plan for after school care didn’t pan out like it did in my mind, my work clients have been dealing with their own crises, which ultimately end up as my crises and things have just not gone my way recently. Nothing major, but it just seemed like they kept piling up week after week. Which is why last week was so spectacular.

It wasn’t until Thursday that the massive turnaround happened. I work as a legal assistant and many of our clients have little else to do except for worry about their case and call me for updates. Which is fine by me, part of my job is to be a shoulder to cry on and frankly, I rather enjoy it. However, it’s been taxing lately. Things haven’t been moving particularly fast on a few files and people are getting antsy and they’re calling me to let me know their displeasure. At any rate, I was doing some routine follow up work on file late last week and I called a client to update her. She is in a particularly difficult situation involving a tenant and she’s been quite distraught over it. As I was updating her, I could almost feel the weight lifting off her shoulders. When I got done with my update, she could not contain her excitement for how her case is going. She thanked me about a dozen times for being so nice, for believing in her, for just being there for her. It nearly brought tears to my eyes and still does re-living that call. It felt amazing to know what a difference I had made for this person.

Friday was a mediation day, which can be a very emotional experience for clients. Just after lunch, I received a call from the client whose case we were mediating. She was thrilled because her case had finally settled! She was tearfully thanking me and I could hear the joy in her voice. She told me she had even done a “happy dance” after she had left.

It’s those phone calls that make all the hours of pouring over medical records, police reports, documents, internet research and years and years of background information worth it. Those calls don’t normally come in such rapid succession but man, did I ever need them to last week! It refreshed my attitude and gave me a new energy!

I know this blog is about football…but sometimes life gets in the way of our hobbies and this was definitely a breath of fresh air for me! I know there are others who are struggling right now. My advice is to keep the faith, keep working and keep doing what you do. Stop and relax when you can. When that crazy schedule makes you want to scream, remember that you are a rockstar and you CAN do it! Each of us was put on this Earth because we possess a talent. Find it, harness it and do it. Happy Monday everyone and be blessed!!