Last week I spent some quality time reconnecting with a dear friend. It was a week when I just wanted to disappear for a bit - knowing how crazy life is about to get and needing some quiet time to relax and re-focus. I think it was successful on all counts, and by the time I left on Friday I felt very much at peace, relaxed, and thankful for the opportunity to re-align some aspects of my life that have been out of balance in recent months. I'll just leave it at that....
The train ride to DC on Friday was very pretty, and actually kinda fun. There's something unique about train trips. The weather was gorgeous, and the opportunity to sip the beginnings of autumn along the way were much appreciated, and helped me realize just how much I miss the passing of the seasons. As much as anything watching the changes that seasons bring throughout the year provides an anchor of life and is filled with deeper emotional reactions based on memories and experiences. That probably sounds like a bunch of psycho-babble but that's the best I can do to explain it. Anyway, it makes sense to me.
I'm staying with friends in the DC area at the moment. I spoke at the Out For Work Conference on Saturday and celebrated a birthday with a good friend on Sunday. I had a number of meetings in DC on Monday. I drove to central PA on Tuesday and very much enjoyed my visit. I had some very productive conversations, visited with a friend who lives there, enjoyed touring the state Capitol and the scenery along the Susquehana River, and although my stay there was fairly short we got quite a bit done. I expect that I'll be back again soon. I drove back to DC last night before the unpleasant weather hit.
Today there's a tropical depression soaking the area. There are flood warnings and tornado workings all over the place and they're expecting anywhere from 2 to 4 inches of rain today, or more. As I sit and type this I'm listening to quiet piano music, watching rain fall from gray dreary skies, and generally feeling very comfortable with things. I wish I could sit here all day but I've got lots to do. Unfortunately, I need to brave this weather and get to downtown DC so I'll need to enjoy this feeling of calm while I can.
I very much feel that life is like tides. It's sometimes high, and it sometimes wanes, but eventually the same cycles that seem consistent in so many other aspects of life seem true with life itself. I have seen it quite a bit in the last few weeks - in relationships in my life that have ebbed and flowed, in the direction and energy of my so-called "career", in my continuing strong and positive mood, and in life direction in general. Right now the tides are in and I'm enjoying it while I can, savoring and gathering the energy of it all knowing that I'll need it later. Anyway - probably more psycho babble to some. But it makes sense to me.
There is quite a bit of change on my horizon. Exciting change. Challenges. Opportunities. They are changes that I've spent years thinking about and I'm finally at a crossroads where I can either make them happen or not. Have no doubt - they will happen. More to come when the time is right.
When I was at SCC I mentioned that Oprah would be doing a segment featuring someone in the community soon. That happened yesterday. Christine McGinn and her partner Lisa had twins several months ago. The unique aspect of the story is that Christine had some of her "swimmers" (her term, not mine) saved and frozen before her transition so both she and Lisa are truly the genetic parents to their children. At the time I wondered why that thought never occurred to me, but the fact is that I wouldn't want to start over at parenthood at this stage of life. I know a little of how difficult it was for them to get to this stage and kudos to both of them. They'll make wonderful parents.
We used to joke that if Lisa became pregnant they'd be a good candidate for Oprah. Well, that show happened yesterday (details here). It is unfortunate that the sensational title ("The Mom Who Fathered Her Own Children") almost puts this in the same league of freak-dom as Pregnant Man did a few years ago. I didn't see the episode but have talked with some who have and the general consensus is that Christine and Lisa did a good job.
I think one aspect that will be discussed most is something that's mentioned in a shorter treatment on the Oprah website (see it here):
What some people might find especially interesting about Christine is that she's able to breastfeed. She says it's not as complicated as it sounds. "A lot of women who adopt go through a regimen of hormones before they have their child, and that enables them to breastfeed by the time they get their child," she says. "So I just did the same protocol. It's basically simulating pregnancy with hormones, and since I transitioned 10 years ago, I had enough breast development where it was basically the identical situation."
Anyway, congrats to Lisa and Christine.
Well - it's absolutely POURING outside at the moment but I need to get ready to go out in it. Yuck. It looks like we'll be needing an Ark if this keeps up all day. I'm here in DC today, I'm headed to the Hamptons for a Board Retreat tomorrow thru Sunday, and then I'm doing 3 days of training here in DC next week before heading back to Phoenix a week from today. I've got a scratchy throat but overall I'm not feeling bad which is a good thing since I really don't have the time to get sick right now. I'm in the middle of this jag of travel, but realistically things are about to get more complicated. As I say - more to come when the time is appropriate.
I'll post some pictures in my next update. I've got to get the day going.