I’m rarely home on the weekend between the months of November and April because I travel for my job. I fly out of Manchester on Friday morning so that I can arrive at my destination early enough to help the event organizers set up for their Saturday competition. Most of the time I spend all day Saturday working (if you could call what I’m doing work), and I head for home on Sunday. I spend a lot of time in airports and have had my flights delayed and cancelled. I’ve missed more than a few connecting flights, and a few weeks ago my luggage arrived at a destination that was more than 2000 miles away from where I was. I wish it had brought me a souvenir! I don’t often have the opportunity to sight-see, and my general impressions of the region are largely based on the people I meet at the event.
Fortunately, the people I meet are almost always wonderful, friendly, interesting and very passionate about volunteering. I hear amazing stories at the events I attend and more than once, I’ve been moved to tears.
At an event years ago, I met a team made up of kids from a life skills school – kids who for one reason or another were not thriving in traditional schools. For some kids, a life skills school is a last chance at a diploma. This group of young men and women were energetic and clearly having a blast. They weren’t terribly competitive but they were thrilled to be competing. They cheered for their team mates and for every other team with equal enthusiasm. I couldn’t help but smile as I watched them. At the end of the day, the team was presented with an award for their spirit. They were shocked. One tearful student told me that their school would need to build a trophy case – they didn’t have one because nobody from there had ever won an award before.
Almost every place I go, I hear a story like this one.
I miss my Trophy Husband, Beautiful Daughter and Jake when I travel. I’m a shy introvert, so spending twelve or sixteen hours at an event takes a physical and emotional toll on me. I do this work because I know that even small things, like winning a spirit award, can be a mind changer to a young person who might have believed they had no options.
I am grateful to have the opportunity to do this for a living. I am beyond grateful to my Trophy Husband and beautiful Daughter who are understanding about my absences from home. For me, Life is Sweet and I have much to be thankful for.