Sunday, March 11, 2012

Free time, finally

I've noticed a trend in my blog posts when there has been HUGE gap in time since my last post. I'll apologize or make up excuses or blame my ADD.  It seems my ego has this idea that there are people out there just waiting for my next blog post. I really have to get over myself.

I love writing this blog, regardless of evidence that seems to contradict that statement. I love writing. I love telling stories. I love thinking that I live a fascinating life when the reality screams the contrary.

I hate having limited time to write. And that's what the last two months have been - limited. I over-committed myself to judging skating competitions without any thought to the calendar.  When I finally took the time to consult the calendar, I had already said yes to eight competitions in 9 weeks.

Starting with the first full weekend in January, I had competitions in Mankato (Minn.), Detroit, Chicago, Hershey, Penn., Rochester (Minn.), Detroit (again!), Cleveland and finally Worcester (Mass.) Unfortunately, for my friends and family, I was really whiney about it. And I got even whiner when I was traveling on crutches!

Although my plans started out with all these competitions, I ended up having to drop out of two of them for work commitments. I had to make the difficult decision of either making a second trip to Detroit in February or spend 8 days in Jacksonville, Florida. It was SUCH a tough decision, but being the trooper I am, I took one for the team.

The trip to Jacksonville had two assignments. The first was to cover the "26.2 with Donna: the marathon to finish breast cancer" for Mayo Clinic. The race started and ended at the Mayo campus. Unfortunately, Jacksonville had a cold snap about that time and the temperature at 4:30 am (when we had to be there for work) was a less-than-balmy 29 degrees with a wind chill factor of 19. I froze my patootie off. I hadn't packed for cold weather - no hat, no mittens and my "winter" coat was not a winter coat- it was a fall-type jacket that did not keep the cold out. 

Nevertheless, the race was fun, the runners enthusiastic and it raised money for a great cause.

The second assignment was to shoot video for the 2011 Mayo Clinic Annual Report.  It was awe-inspiring being able to interview Mayo Clinic patients and hear their stories. One was 40-something woman from Orlando who had a double lung transplant last spring. Her spirit was absolutely contagious as she referred to her new lungs as "her girls." (Her donor was a healthy young woman who had died from a gunshot to the head).

I talked to a young woman who had both of her hips replaced before she was 30. She talked about being in such pain prior to surgery that she would rather drag herself up stairs than walk them. The joy in her voice as she talked about the doctor who provided her with the answers she needed was obvious. She felt so much appreciation that she came to work for Mayo Clinic.

It made me appreciate my job, too.

I've been busy these last couple of months, but I've missed you all (my ego has returned - didn't leave for very long, did it?). I'm looking forward to getting back to telling stories and, hopefully, keeping you amused.