Dave got up at dawn to drive me to the airport in the dark. As we tiptoed down the hall, shrieks from Tess’ room confirmed our stealth failure – so we scooped her up and took her with us. I said my goodbyes, jumped on a plane, and despite delays and a missed flight later, I found myself in Texas for a conference!

I usually enjoy travel and alone time, but leaving my family gets harder and harder. Dave assures me I need this time and I know that – serious burnout happening! But as I try to read on the plane, the words swim in front of my eyes. Reading and a little alone time, great pleasures throughout my whole life, have become foreign to me. It’s not that I’ve lost my craving for these treats; I just find it harder and harder to encourage my focus to coalesce in one place. I decided that, despite the less-than-ideal circumstances, this trip would be about rediscovering that side of myself.

I spent the earlier part of this week in a leadership course, which included evaluating our personal and corporate priorities. Mine held no surprises: creativity, knowledge, family, fairness, and competence. Still, the exercise reminded me how important these learning experiences and reflective time are in life – especially when life gets so cluttered!

I don’t have the energy to add sightseeing to learning, but I’m vowing here and now to make every minute here count: learning, introspection, networking, inspiring, reading, and sleeping. Accomplishing those things will make missing days with the fam worthwhile.

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