My few days away seemed like a week.
A good deal of time was spent on four planes, three meetings, three site visits, one group dinner and two nights of room service. Phew.
We stayed three nights and I managed to take five baths. I admit it. I fell in love with the bathtub in my hotel room, which was two feet deep, with a ready supply of piping hot water.
I have to wonder how frequent fliers do it, how they perceive life. Do they feel like they've lived a really, really long time as a result? Is it sort of like traveling in space, where you age more rapidly than the earthbound folks?
Even though we got so much 'done', I have mixed feelings about this trip. A few of my very stupid mistakes were caught and brought up at a meeting. And at one of the site visits, I had to confront either minor misjudgements or massive room for improvement. Granted, the project was done with very little time and tons of pressure, but still. It easily could have been so much better.
Finally, I choked at an important meeting. I needed to present some things and I only addressed some of them. The rather critical mood of the morning put me off. One of the bigwigs was there, and the feeling was tense. Much bigger and tedious issues were being discussed, and I just couldn't muster up the energy to stick my neck out there. My neck remained safely and happily ensconced in its little shell.
The thing is, my team stayed late the Friday before, scrambling together two presentation booklets and material samples that we shipped out by Fed Ex. I feel like I let the team down. Effort was made, but it wasn't seen because of my fears. And what was I really afraid of? Mr. Bigwig dismissing my fluffy thoughts? (Uh, yes).
Mark says that people make mistakes. I guess.
I happen to be the super-sensitive, critical type, so my mistakes haunt me. I'm a Virgo! My errors keep me up at night and wake me early the next morning. It's tough being a perfectionist in a very imperfect world, working on projects under imperfect conditions.
I'm learning from this experience, slowly and painfully. It goes something like this: that it's hard sometimes to be a leader, that I have a tough time speaking to a critical audience, that people make mistakes, and that I am said people.