Exhausted (but in a good way)

I’m at the airport, waiting for a delayed flight home from Chicago. It snowed here, today, very light flurries, and it made me wonder why I always love the first snow of winter with a full, childlike heart and then come to hate it by mid-winter. This year, I will try to love it for its beauty and take the inconvenience as only a temporary nuisance.

I’m exhausted. True to form, I stayed up past midnight last night working on PowerPoint slides for a customer meeting this morning. Then I got up early to finish them before a planning breakfast with colleagues. Less than an hour before we needed to take a taxi to the client’s headquarters, I had a file mishap and lost quite a bit of my work.

We looked at one another in horror, wondered out loud for three minutes what had happened, and then spread out to fix the problem as quickly as we could. It sounds like a small thing, but when we had regrouped and replaced 4 hours of work in 50 minutes, we all felt a little giddy. Effective collaboration has a way of doing that for me. It is just thrilling to be reminded whom you can count on when you hit a major setback.

The meeting went well, we had lunch and completed our meeting debrief, and then everyone scattered, leaving me alone to catch up on email and some projects I owed to people before heading to the airport.

To my surprise and delight, I finished quickly enough that I had time to swim in the hotel pool. If any of you are ever looking for a great place to stay in Chicago, the Intercontinental Hotel on Michigan Avenue has the most beautiful indoor pool I’ve ever seen at a city hotel. The pool itself is tiled with tiny, mosaic squares. The deep end is nearly 15-feet deep, the room in which it sits is decorated like a modern-day roman bath, and the pool itself is 25-yards long, large enough that a workout feels like a workout.

I swam a little more than half a mile and sat in the sauna for a few minutes before dressing and heading to Midway airport. To make matters even better, Midway’s Southwest terminal has Harry Cary’s restaurant where I ate pork chops, steamed broccoli, and a side of pasta with a basil-fragrant tomato sauce. Absolutely delicious.

So I have to say that the day rewarded me for my patience and hopefulness. My work friends were wonderful this morning, bringing me coffee, offering encouragement, and doing everything they could to help. It was an inspiring way to start the day, and the swim was a refreshing way to end it.

I feel blessed.

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