Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Bounty

Tonight I'm sitting in a hotel near the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, NC.  It is the end of an amazing week.  I'll share some highlights.

I escaped the single-digit cold for the comforts of South Carolina on Christmas eve.  I was up at 3am to catch my 6am flight.  Everything flowed like clockwork and I was home by dinnertime.  I had Christmas Eve dinner with some wonderful friends there....

Christmas Eve, Chicago skyline in the distance, zero degrees....
When I arrive I had no pre-conceived notion of structure for my time home.  There were a number of things I wanted to achieve, but I find planning things out too much block opportunities for spontaneous circumstance.

I wanted to use my last two barre class sessions while I was here.  Barre is my favorite overall workout.  They don't have a class for it anywhere in Nebraska.  Or Iowa, for that matter.  The closest to me when I'm in Omaha is in Kansas City...3+ hours away.  The best explanation of Barre is that it's a cross between ballet and pilates that focuses on targeted, little movements on specific muscles and groups.  It's incredibly effective and by the time an hour is up I'm typically shaking from the exertion.

Going to barre is a significant test of self-confidence.  Only women seem to attend these classes...typically women who are long, lean, limber, lithe, and graceful.  Needless to say - I am none of these things.  That's why I go.  It's very much about proper form - head and shoulder alignment, pointed toes, graceful hands - and the instructors are wonderfully patient when correcting bad form.  The ultimate compliment is to hear, "very pretty, ladies".  You can see in the mirrors that circle the room that everyone is moving in unison.  It's wonderful.  Regardless of how difficult it becomes or how much it hurts hearing that re-energizes.

Anyway - I hope I've shared just how much I enjoy Barre.  And - I did use both my sessions.  I'll get more next year....

I wanted to spend Christmas morning walking through downtown taking photographs.  I've learned over the past few years that nobody - and I do mean nobody - comes out until at least 11am.  Downtown is like a ghost town.  Places that are typically full of people are empty.  Scenery that you often can't see becomes obvious.  The city dresses up to celebrate Christmas, and it's never more accessible than on Christmas morning.

I spent 3 hours walking around downtown - admiring the scenery, taking pictures, soaking up the energy.  It was a magical way to spend Christmas.

The weather was wonderful, so I went for a good long run along my usual route.  I loved that, too.

The rest of the day was spent sharing Christmas with a certain someone and her family.  It was wonderful, too, as our opportunities to re-connect have been all too few over the last few weeks.

I visited some dear friends in Asheville, NC.  I got my hair done with my usual stylist.  I took care of a number of things that have needed closure.  I mentally prepared to close the book on 2013, and open the book on 2014 - new beginnings, new opportunities, new pathways.

I realize that none of this is special to anyone but me but that's fine.  I share it here to provide a glimpse in to the things that keep me going, that make me happy.  There are all elements of my soul food, and it's times like these that demonstrate to me that I exist ok when in Omaha, but I live fully when here.

That said, I've alluded to the fact that some changes are coming and that I expect to be back home soon.  To be more specific, I expect to be back by the end of January.  There are a number of significant things that need to happen between now and then but the groundwork has already been laid and an offer has already been made.  At this point it's a matter of details and logistics.

If things play out as they seem to be leaving will be somewhat bittersweet.  As I've shared before, I really do enjoy what I'm doing.  The guys in our group have become close.  There are some very exciting things happening.  But, as I've explained, my life there is more about existing than living and I'm ready to embrace what comes next.

There is a back-story here that has unfolded over the past few days that was truly unexpected, but is very welcome.  Details will go untold because it's still developing and personal beyond the point I'm willing to share.

So - it is in the shadow of all of that that I sit here and relax - preparing to leave where I'm supposed to be to go to where I need to be right now.  Temperatures back in Omaha are in the single digits.  I've got my alarm set for 3:15am and a reservation on the 4:30am bus from the hotel to catch my 5:45am flight.  It's going to be a loooonnnngg day.  But I'm buoyed by some of the significant things that have happened in my world over the past few days.  My Christmas bounty has been more than I could have imagined.

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