Since You’ve Been Gone

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Because I’m not a planner, vacations sneak up on me. Like the fact that we are leaving extremely early the day after tomorrow is kind of freaking me out. I did remember to cancel my lessons for next week and I also cancelled for Thursday figuring I’m going to need time to pack. I’d start packing now but if the dog sees a suitcase, he’s going to know something is up. Strange how they pick up on those things.

He eventually figures it out when we start loading up the stuff he needs at the kennel. When he sees his bed going in the car, that’s a sure sign that something strange is up. I do feel a little guilty about leaving him behind. It adds to that anxiety about going on vacation. I know the kennel people spoil him but he has no way of understanding that we are coming back and he’s got a little separation anxiety in him so it makes me feel bad to go off and leave him.

Anyway, I started talking about dance so I may as well cover the lesson from last night. We spent most of both lessons working on the Fox Trot and West Coast Swing routines. The actual steps aren’t difficult but the guy who choreographed the West Coast just played with the timing to match certain parts of the song so we just get random holds at various places and other times where there is syncopation – just because. So it is really just trying to get the moves lined up with the music that is the problem.

I think after a lesson and a half, my brain was turning mushy. Plus, the second lesson starts at 8:15 which probably doesn’t seem all that late but I am clearly a morning person and I start to fade later in the day. I think JoNY sensed that so we just moved to Rumba and Cha-Cha which didn’t require thinking that much about the choreography or timing. It was just shaking the rust off those two dances.

As always, I have some doubts about my ability to pick up this stuff. JoNY tells me it will look cool when we finish. I’d like to believe that but it requires me to (a) know the steps, (b) know the timing and (c) be able to relax into it so the jazzy parts don’t look stiff. I guess we’ll see how it goes.

Made it to the gym again this morning. I’m on a streak if you don’t count weekends but it will be broken when we leave for vacation. I’m still having to take certain things easy because the shoulder gets unhappy with me if I don’t. I’m still doing all the exercises the physical therapist wanted me to do and also incorporating the stretching. Things are improved but soft tissue stuff just takes time to heal. I’ve certainly hit my goal about the number of visits I needed to make the membership fee feel like a break even. I signed up for the summer because they were running a special program and that ends the week after Labor Day so I’m going to have to sign up for more. I suspect it will be harder to get up and out when the weather turns cold but I think there will be enough days to make a year round membership worthwhile.

One other thing happened today. Before I left, a manager from another department asked for my contact information. Today he sends me a text. There’s a project on a tight timeline (all projects are on tight timelines) and there’s a shortage of people who have prepared reports for regulatory submissions. Well, the reason there is a shortage is because that’s what my group did and the company decided to get rid of nearly all of us.

He wanted to know if we had contracted out the writing and I told him that no, I had just trained people up through experience. The process was iterative. You learned from previous submissions what the right level of information was. You need to communicate the important facts without going into a lot of internal company jargon that will lead to more questions. Then he asked if I was interested in coming back to help. I just laughed.

Now I want to be clear that I wasn’t mean about it. I know he’s in a bind and it wasn’t his fault that higher ups decided they could live without us. But the atmosphere there was never great and it has only gotten worse the last couple of years as the division has started to struggle. Give up my new found freedom and happiness to go back to a toxic workplace. Thank you, no.

Now so you don’t leave thinking I’m some kind of angel, I will freely admit that the fact they are struggling a bit without us does give me a little bit of happiness inside. Guess we were maybe more valuable than you thought.

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