June 13, 2013

It's a Small World...

For the first phase of my career, I was traveling nearly full-time as a consultant.  I spent time in cities across the country - St. Louis, Atlanta, Seattle, Chicago, Dallas, New York, San Francisco...  I even had the opportunity to spend a month in Sydney!  I had more frequent flier miles and hotel points than I knew what to do with - every vacation I took included a free flight and hotel room.  It was a bonus that was well-deserved, given the toll that travel takes after a while.

As a result of that phase of life, I have friends in every corner of the country.  I met some extraordinary people and got a chance to see places I might not have otherwise.  I also learned a great deal and had a lot of fun.  However, I did eventually burn out and make a change, accepting a job that would allow me to establish a life in Boston.

I remember adjusting to that change.  Being home long enough to buy a full gallon of milk, take the trash out on the actual trash day, join a gym, meet up with friends after work on a weekday, take some classes I'd long wanted to take...  It was an adjustment, but it was a good one.  I started to feel like I really lived in Boston rather than just having a Boston address.

This past year, my world has shrunk yet again.  I am in the suburbs now, and I no longer have the daily commute to the city.  I don't get a chance to go out after work, and getting together with friends from different areas requires some planning.  Most days, I travel about two miles - to and from school, and maybe to the grocery store.  My world has become small, and I've realized that this can be a wonderful thing.  I feel more a part of my community than ever.  I see people I know all the time.  Getting together with local friends is easy, and impromptu gatherings are a possibility.  I used to lament the fact that I had a hard time meeting friends, and now our social calendar fills up as quickly as we want it to.

I had fun during those other phases of life.  I sometimes miss my traveling days, and certainly having to pay for flights and hotel rooms is a drag.  I'm happy I got to experience it.  Mostly, though, I'm happy those days are behind me.  I'm creating more than just a life for me - I'm also establishing a home for my family.  A place where we all feel connected.  After my long journey, I've learned that small can be beautiful.

Me in Sydney


  1. Beautiful, Mary! It does my heart good to see how content you are in the life you've made. A mother couldn't ask for more.

  2. I loved reading this Mary....when I am in town for the day, I love the buzz and even the commuting & I always ponder how fun it would be to be doing it again....but actually I like what I have now & when the time came to move on I was ready for it.

    I wrote a response to you on my "book" post earlier but in case you didn't see it, have you read the Jeannette Walls' other book about her mother's childhood....also a great read, it reveals another side to her mother, I'd recommend it Xx

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  4. Anonymous14.6.13

    I relate to this so much, Mary. As much as I love all of the adventure.... I'm wasting a lot of milk.
    Thanks for the post :)


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