In my line of work, I go to over 100 events a year. Cocktail parties, performances, fundraisers, galas; you name it I’ve probably done it. My wardrobe consists of every type of formal, semi-formal, and casual-dressy wear that I refer to as my “uniform.” I come in contact with the newly wealthy, very wealthy, and the wanna-be wealthy. I go out of my way to make people feel comfortable, at ease, and at home. The fact is that my life is so out of step from how I spend my working days, I sometime marvel at the contrasts.
I’ve accompanied my daughter in the rain and snow, going door-to-door selling Girl Scout cookies one hour and the next I’m greeting opera fans in the opera house. I’ve wiped specks of mud off my face in the backstage dressing rooms as I transformed from bike rider to opera executive. I’ve written thank you notes to generous patrons that give more philanthropically than I earn in a single year; and then I return home to balance my checkbook and pay bills.
Today, as I stood in a mansion feeling dwarfed by the spiral staircases, the rolling lawns, and the multi-million dollar classic car collection I wondered how my day might differ than those around me. Thanks to “falling back” with the clock and returning to standard time, I had one more hour of sleep. At 7:22 a.m. I was taking in a breath-taking autumn run. My training guide prescribed 9.5 miles and I decided to tackle my hilly neighborhood route. Perhaps it was the sun, perhaps my rehabilitation program is kicking in, but I dialed home and had my family meet me at our favorite diner, adding another 1.5 miles to the route. With 11 miles under my belt and one and a half hours into my day, I slid onto the bar stool at the diner counter and had a simple, hearty breakfast. I took a lift home, uploaded my running stats, left a Facebook message for a friend running today’s New York City Marathon, did my prescribed stretch and strength work, slipped into the shower, tackled the NY Times Crossword Puzzle, slipped into my “uniform,” left the chore list for my daughter and was off to pick up a donor and attend an event. Upon arriving home, I began cooking dinner, something simple, yet quick. Spaghetti Carbonara with Tuscan kale accompanied with a butter leaf salad. All was well, until I discovered that there was only one egg in the refrigerator. I improvised and somehow made dinner without catastrophe. I was rewarded with a pile of laundry waiting to be folded. I really try to avoid conversations at events about the merits of keeping a good maid, since I am the only maid that steps foot in our household and I would have fired me a long time ago. I reminded my daughter to feed the cat, clean her room, and finish her homework. And then I was reminded that I was participating in National Blog Post Month and I hadn’t written a single word.
So besides chronicling my mundane life, I came to one conclusion. When you are paid to do things that take you outside your comfort zone, you do them. When you volunteer to take yourself outside of your comfort zone, you procrastinate. You rationalize. And you often give up. This blog post is a tribute to being uncomfortable and not giving up.