Back from convention-land
Oddly, it wasn't as horrible as I expected. I think I half-expected the potential housekeeper to come in, blanch at the horror, and say in hushed tones, We can make it right ... for a price!
It wasn't anything like that, really. We talked about the square footage of the house, and we talked about how frequently I needed help, and some of the crazier chores I needed help with, and what day of the week was best.
All those antacids and it ended up totally being a business transaction. Which was exactly what I needed. I'd put aside the thought of dealing with this issue while I was in Colorado, and I was so slammed after getting home that I didn't have much time to obsess over hiring household help.
I made the leap. I hired her.
I think I'm just relieved to know that as of next week, the floors will be clean, fans dusted, and things just dealt with. If I can keep up with the Herculean task of the giveaway and tossout, there's a chance that once tidied, the house could STAY tidied.
* * * * *
Speaking in general terms, attending the convention was good for me. I didn't get to go to all the sessions I wanted (due to customer load, I only made it to two sessions) but I got a good amount of face time with my normally-remote co-workers, and did the kind of work that demonstrated that if I'm allowed to attend future conventions, I'll work my tail off.
I gave away a quilt, too -- one that I've posted photos about on Flickr and Twitter, but not discussed at length because the story isn't mine to tell. Not yet. When it is, though, I'll write it up. It's a joyful and sweet story, and one I look forward to telling. The convention was my one shot at delivering this quilt in person, and it was worth the tiredness and effort it took to get it ready in time.
I also followed the time-honored tradition of conventions and took one night to have a massive, epic throwdown with some of my co-workers. I was indeed there for the hilarity that was #eatoncon. I bought some drinks for co-workers, trekked from one bar to another, and witnessed both truly good and truly bad karaoke.
I witnessed a drunken Australian doing tequila shots.
I witnessed an executive -- who makes more money in a month than I make in a year -- completely obliterate a classic rap song in karaoke. I was glad I didn't know who he was.
I appreciated that three co-workers approached me separately to let me know that I'm handling the new job well. I've wondered, but it's hard to ask.
The bar kicked us out at 2am.
The boys can keep their beer. My old friend Jack Daniels and I felt the need to renew our friendship.
I ended up in a diner with someone who, professionally, I consider almost a mentor but whose personal life and personality are a mystery to me -- and we talked until nearly four a.m. before I borrowed his (shared) hotel room floor for sleeping, since I wasn't safe to drive.
His 2011 was as bad as mine, if not worse. He bears it with greater dignity than I do. If I could learn how he does it, I'd be a better person.
The convention was a good thing for me. I was glad I spent the money. I felt ... part of something. It was a fleeting feeling, something I don't yet know how to hold on to, but for a few days, at least, I felt like I was part of a team.
It felt normal. This, in and of itself, is a gift.
* * * * *
I took a few extra days to get home. I stopped off, got a hotel room, and rested. I made new in-person friends. I shopped for fabric. I tried to live in the sunshine a little.
I nearly didn't make it home on my first try, thanks to aircraft maintenance, but I came home and immediately put my money where my mouth has been for months: I need help. I can't deal with this house and this life without additional hands. Maybe someday I'll be able to do it, but right now, it's better to give up a small chunk of take-home pay and buy some serenity and clean carpets.
For now, though, sleep. This day is done, and the next one starts awfully soon.