Madcap

This past week has been utterly non-stop.

Last Thursday I went to Connecticut for the annual Go Red luncheon, in support of awareness of women’s heart disease.

Later that night, I picked up my good friend Nicola from the bus station.

From Thursday night until the following Tuesday, we had a packed schedule that involved me getting up early in the morning to work so Nic and I could mess around town and see art and go for walks in the woods; things we like to do together. It was nuts. We went to MOMA and hung with friends and saw a reading and hosted a visitor and had dinner with 10 of my nearest and dearest, and then we hosted dinner for 10 at my place on Saturday night.

Tuesday Nic left for Boston, part of an East Coast tour she’s doing, and although I moped a bit on Tuesday afternoon, feeling like the house was awfully empty, there was–and is–plenty of work to be done.

Then this morning happened. At 8:10 or so I was walking the hound in the park, getting ready for my dentist appointment, and checking my e-mails. One from ShelterBox HQ was in the queue, asking after my availability for an as-immediate-as-possible-departure to Peru to respond to flooding.

I replied that I could go, returned the hound to home, went to my dental appointment, and on return to my desk, one side of face drooping from Novocaine, called in to confirm readiness.

I got confirmation from the team lead a scant hour later and started making arrangements. I was excited–I’ve never been first team in before, and never been on a recon trip, and the team lead is a good friend.

And then I got asked to stand down.

All of that is fine. The SRT member who is replacing me speaks Spanish and has responded to a Peruvian disaster for us previously. He is absolutely the right choice.

But do you know what? In the midst of all my preparation and dashing about last week, I realized that with the call to stand down came a small bubble of breathing space. Into that bubble came rushing in all the phone calls to friends I’ve been putting off because I’ve been too busy; all the small things I like to do that have gone undone because I have been too tired; all the meaningful correspondence I’ve been wanting to reply to.

“Stand down.” The order is more meaningful than I thought. Sometimes, a girl just needs to stand down. What a disguised blessing.

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