Actually, the past 2 weeks have been a whirlwind.
There was a little bit of everything! In fact, if it hadn't rained, it would've included the last group ride for the season. But that was cancelled.
It all started with the beginning of 10 straight days of working.
Then my book club had their annual Halloween party, which if you have read my past blog posts around this time of year, you will see that we get a little excited about Halloween, and dress up!
The morning after book club was my running group's annual Halloween Run! Yes, we dress up and run around town. This year, we ended up going UP one of the toughest hills in town. When the road is called "Pinnacle", you know it's a tough one.
Running up it, while dressed as a UPS driver, and not anywhere near in shape to do it, is just dumb. But, I did it anyway.
I'm lucky I got to join in the festivities, because the museum I was headed to that Saturday opened a little later, so I could get the run in. It also means a later night, but that's ok...I'm a night owl anyway.
It was the last weekend of the museum season, with one of the museum's hosting the town's Halloween party! It was super fun, and exhausting, but to see the look on people's faces after a couple of years of not celebrating was so nice to see.
Then came Halloween.
B invited a couple of friends over to go Trick or treating with him. I'm not sure if this will be the last year, but he already said he's planning on next year's costume.
The next day I attended my first museum conference in 20 years.
For 3 days, I networked, learned, listened, questioned, gathered swag, walked around the city and thoroughly enjoyed being part of the incredible museum community.
You never know how a conference will turn out. There are always the best laid plans, and the sessions may look interesting, but then for some reason the wheels come off. So, I was cautiously hopeful that the many sessions would give new insights into programs, and content, as well as the opportunity to network with colleagues.
And my hopes were answered!
Every session provided information, gave examples of museums trying new things, exploring new stories, sharing delicate histories. Every night I came home enthusiastic about my job, and thinking about how I can take what I learned and use it. By Friday night, I was mentally exhausted, but in a way that was rewarding.
One of the many highlights was meeting up with alumni from grad school, and hearing about their work, as well as what was happening at the school.
And after working for those 10 straight days, I gathered some clothes, my running gear, and went away for a long weekend, with a couple of friends.
Did I mention that we were running a 10 mile race...in Stowe, Vermont? Yes, another Vermont 10 Miler.
But not before I watched J wrap up a Unified Sports flag football practice. Next week, he'll be playing at Gillette Stadium (yes, where the New England Patriots play) with a bunch of other teams from around New England.
Not only that, but we have experienced a crazy warm week for November. 70 degree temperatures is very odd for November. And now there is a hurricane brewing in the Atlantic.
Running in Vermont in 70 degree temps was so weird, that it was almost more difficult than before. I was actually too hot in short sleeves and shorts.
But all though these couple of crazy weeks, I have continued to have the luxury of working from home when possible; the support of friends and family; and enjoyment of the job.
While running/walking up the hills (mountains!) around Stowe, it dawned on me that just one year ago, I was trying to figure out if I really wanted to get back into the museum world.
That weekend, a year ago, I had many discussions with my running friends about the job, the family, and how this would all work out.
That same weekend, I had made the decision to take the position, even though I hadn't known it yet.
As I ran this time, I knew I had made the right decision, even though I am still worrying about the job, and family.
One of the most memorable sessions at the conference had nothing to do with programs, or fund raising, or even museums.
It had to do with leadership. And this also crossed my mind during the run.
The session was about the fact that we have been "training" to be leaders our entire lives. We just needed to figure out our "core values"--what we can draw upon--to make us better leaders. This is not political, but things that we need to be our authentic selves.
I figured out that mine is fun and humor, learning, determination, and authenticity.
On top of that, the "imposter syndrome" that I have been feeling is completely natural, and even healthy.
Well, thank god for that!
Now that the whirlwind has come to an end, and new whirlwind begins. Back to work, back to family, back to bringing the kids to where they need to go, and back to basics.
Just because the museums have closed for the season, doesn't mean it is time to relax. It is the same as triathlon training. The "off season" is the time for rejuvenation. Resting for a bit, but preparing for the next season.
And both prep for museum season and triathlon season (or running, or biking, or whatever) starts now.
Deep breaths, and go!