Implementation.  Conversion.  I never knew those were dirty words, ugly words…until lately.  Anyone who has been through such a thing understands.  Anyone who hasn’t—well, they simply have no idea.  I have never worked so hard, so long and under so much pressure.  Ever.  The weight of 3500 people’s livelihood rides on my shoulders.  It’s a heavy load.  One that I don’t always feel equipped to handle.

This IMP-le-men-tation–I find myself spelling it out to soften the trauma that the word inflicts.  Tonight when I got home the family was putting lights on the tree.  It made me aware of just what I’ve missed these past few months.

  • I missed my daughters birthday.  Totally.  Didn’t even see her that day.  Not once.
  • I missed swim meets and softball games for the first time ever.
  • I’ve missed lunches.  Lots and lots of lunches.  Some were just meals but others hurt a little more–like missing the parent breakfast with my 5th grader or not being able to attend her last elementary Thanksgiving feast.  I didn’t get to the daycare party or to parent night at the middle school or the parent swim team meeting.
  • I’ve missed my friends and supporting them through some good and bad changes in their lives.
  • I’ve missed bedtimes.
  • I missed my 3-year olds first haircut.  Not the official one.  The shearing she decided to give herself while playing in the ‘office’.  Luckily her hair was in her face so the hunk she sawed off can almost pass as long bangs.
  • I missed the tornado, hurricane or earthquake that hit my neighborhood.  A natural disaster is the only thing that could explain the condition of my house.
  • I’ve missed counting points and shedding pounds although I am slightly proud that despite my urge to eat under stress that I haven’t GAINED any pounds.
  • I’ve missed sleep.  Ah, sleep.  I full night, non-fitful, good-nights rest is on my list to Santa.
  • I missed watching, “the sound of music” with my daughter.  Although I might need to add that to the ‘plus’ side of this list.  Carrie will never me Julie in my book and I don’t know that I approve or appreciate anyone messing with a classic.
  • I missed the tradition of finding and cutting down a Christmas tree with my little family.  That too might need to switch from con to pro because the idea of us merrily skipping thru the Christmas tree farm is always much better in my mind then in reality.
  • I’ve missed entire days of sunshine. Days when I enter my building in the gray of morning and leave in the black of night without ever stepping foot outside.

It’s not all horrible.  I have missed a lot but I’ve also gained some things.

  • I have gained new friends.  Really smart, awesome people that I would have never been given the opportunity to work with without this project.
  • I’ve gained new skills.  I never, ever expected to be doing what I am doing.  Never really expected to be ABLE to do what I am doing but I am doing it and, when things slow down and everything works, I might even let myself be proud of what I’ve done and what I am doing.  Maybe.
  • I’ve gained a few more gray hairs (like I needed those) and a few more worry lines (didn’t need those either).
  • I’ve also mastered a pretty gnarly, intimidating resting-bitch face.  Not a direct quote but pretty close.   I thought I had perfected a poker face that betrayed nothing.  My friends found that rather amusing and proceeded to mimic, name and describe my ‘resting face’.  Clearly I should never play poker.
  • I’ve gained a ninja star, origami wreath that I treasure.
  • I got a much needed, tremendously appreciated hug today.
  • I’ve gained a much more colorful string of curse words (yeah, didn’t need that either).
  • I’ve gained new skills.  Boy have I gained new skills.  I know I mentioned that but it warrants repeating.
  • I haven’t been able to re-invent myself–though I have tried.  At lunch today in a totally separate conversation it was said that no matter where you go YOU are there.  Yep.  I can’t escape my sensitivity, my need for validation, my controlling nature or my crabby demeanor.  I have, however, been able to be seen with fresh and appreciative eyes.  I can’t escape me but I have found moments where ME isn’t so bad.
  • I’ve learned that I love to ‘troubleshoot’ and that I am not 1/2 bad at it.
  • My stubborn determination and in-ability to quit once I start is serving me well right now.
  • I’ve gotten to help, which as it turns out, is one of my favorite things.
  • I’ve allowed myself to indulge from the vast array of candy bars that my team keeps bringing in under the theory that stress diminishes while eating chocolate. I’ve tested that theory.  A lot!
  • I like to think I’ve gained some respect.  That is a big deal.  Respect doesn’t come easy.
  • I’ve come to appreciate a husband that is willing, with one phone call, to make the daycare run, shuttle kids to activities, run by the store, make dinner from nothing and fold a load of clothes.  Can’t claim that as a total victory and he sees a lot of my resting bitch face as I step OVER the load of laundry that is lying in the floor…and the couch…and the coffee table…

I’ve learned that your brain can actually go numb, 15 hours staring at a computer screen does not kill you and that LOGIC doesn’t always make sense.    I haven’t taken a lot of reflection time—haven’t had time to reflect on much.  But as our countdown to GO LIVE  gets shorter our days are going to get longer.  Tonight I just needed to take a few minutes and get it off my chest and out of my mind and to sort of free my psyche.



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