I've always traveled as part of my work responsibilities. In the early days (don't think I'm going to tell you how long ago) I traveled to Albany, NY. I was Director of Human Resources for one of the City of New York's mayoral agencies and had to attend labor meetings. Later, while working for a recycling company, I had to travel throughout New York, Connecticut and New Jersey to perform site inspections and interview candidates for employment. These were the lean years when traveling for work meant jumping on a train or driving myself. It was fun, don't get me wrong, and I really enjoyed being on the road blasting music or listening to books on tape.
As the years passed the trips got more elaborate and interesting. Travel meant attending C.P.E. or going to conferences as an attendee or presenter. It also meant air travel across the United States to beautiful cities in different states. Frequently my husband came along and my business travel became impromptu vacations. Those were the salad days.
And then I had children...
They tell you, when you're pregnant, that having children changes everything. Each time I heard this I laughed and smiled and said "yeah yeah". By "everything" I thought they meant "sleep" or "fancy restaurants" or "expensive clothing". I didn't realize that by "everything" they meant "EVERYTHING". It wasn't until years later when I realized that "everything" included how I felt about traveling for business. It was one of the things that I used to enjoy the most. Up until the point when I became a mother, business travel meant vacation or exploration or education. It meant all the good "ations". Suddenly traveling for business meant guilty feelings and worrying. Where did all the "ations" go?
It took some serious work to get over the bad feelings. I remember sitting in the airport waiting for my first flight after having all three of my girls and seriously considering walking away from the gate. I realized I would be fired but the thought of being back home with my husband and daughters far outweighed that harsh reality. I didn't do it, ofcourse, and consider myself stronger and smarter for it. I continued to travel and each time I did, I felt a little less guilty and even (incredibly) began to enjoy myself a bit. I allowed myself to feel important for being called down to the company headquarters. I took some time to explore the really nice hotels where they sent me. I went out with colleagues and, shudder, I had fun.
So in two days, I will be traveling to Miami to attend the launch of the General Mills Qué Rica Vida website. I know better now than to feel dismal about it. I am flattered that I was invited to attend and I'm excited to meet other "mommy bloggers" like myself. I am looking forward to learning more about the world of blogging and look forward to visiting Miami again. What is more, when I begin to feel guilty about leaving my girls, and the stereo-typical, old world beliefs about where mommies should be start to creep up, I think to myself that perhaps one day my daughters will look back and think that I was pretty cool once upon a time.
Now if I could only get rid of my fear of flying...