After two weeks out of town, I was starting to lose all sight of a daily routine. In visiting family we were bouncing between different beds every few nights. In visiting with both friends and family our mealtime routines were all funky. Finally, in mixing personal time with intense work time (round two of working with Healthy Democracy on brutally long 12-13 hour days) my very tempo of waking hours was in complete disarray. It’s funny, being at home, particularly on days that we get up and go through the same motions day after day, can get awfully mundane. After two weeks with NO routine, however, I’m super happy to be getting back to normal.
To keep things brief, my professional goals in Colorado were a stunning success. I was thrilled to get to work with Molly Keating, Brenda, Lisa, and Maureen from Engaged Public, and Bill from Civic Canopy on yet another Citizen’s Initiative Review Panel examining the GMO issue. I felt more confident with knowing what work needed to be done and in jumping in to DO the work this time around. I also felt hugely appreciated. It was a great experience. I think that both highlights of the trip were times I got to share with Molly. First, a small group of us went out to dinner at Union Station in Denver. It was a beautiful night with good food and totally normal, friendly conversation. There was nothing particularly unique about the dinner except that I began to feel like a colleague with people I really respect. The second was after a LONG day at the very end of our CIR process. The Oregon crew caught a late night flight home. I was lucky enough to end up sitting next to Molly and we spend a good portion of the flight home talking mediation, professional advice, and book clubs. She was SO generous and SO encouraging that I truly felt the time was an absolute gift. It would have been great to NOT have been so tired and to have been sitting in a cafe or talking over a glass of wine instead of crammed into an airplane but c’est la vie.
Tuesday I started back to work with Neighbor to Neighbor. I was delighted to get to catch up with Kevin and Jessica and get back into the swing of things with them. It was funny realizing how much I had missed working with them over the previous two weeks. I will be mediating Small Claims Court in Benton County on my own this week (Kevin has a meeting and Jessica will be at Basic Mediation Training) which is both exciting and terrifying. It’s fun to see how far I’ve come since the start of the summer when I wouldn’t have had the slightest idea of where to even begin.
I’m grateful to be working on two different community cases starting this week as well. I will be working on case development this week and (hopefully!) wrapping up my summer internship hours with these cases. With just over a week to go until classes start again…I’m embracing both routines, and the surprises that summer may still hold.