Back to work, back to reality

After more than two weeks of glorious freedom, today I went back to work. My colleagues greeted me with lots of smiles and hugs — and with the mother of all practical jokes.

A quarter of my desk was buried under assignments, which in turn were plastered with notes: “HOT!” “See me ASAP!” “Can you finish this by 9?”

Our traffic coordinator seemed sincerely apologetic. “I know it looks like a lot, but I can help you prioritize. I’m so sorry … it’s just that everyone is so busy.” I bought her Oscar-worthy performance hook, line, and sinker. Then she and the crew ‘fessed up, and we all laughed until we were practically crying. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer homecoming.

It always amazes me how fluid the human psyche can be. One day I’m in Paris, spraining my ankles on the cobblestones and inhaling the sweet smell of crêpes. The next day I’m in my cubicle, reading emails and writing copy. And the transition is absolutely seamless: Both experiences are a part of my life, like the opposite sides of a coin.

Still, my time alone in Paris was an absolute gift. I told Esteban today that I’d love to spend a few days on my own there every year, for as many years as I can. Lucky girl that I am, he said “I think that’s a fabulous idea.”

I’m already planning my next trip.

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