9.19.2008

Lightning Round-up

In Baltimore for George's wedding last weekend, we milled around the harbor, eating pizza, taking pictures, imagining Jimmy sitting at a bar near the docks. We were staying at the Holiday Inn Express (for $65!! Go Priceline!!) near the stadium, and spent our free afternoon watching the aggressive window washers on our corner, drinking Natty Bo, and lying on the bed cooing like a baby. Well, one of us drank Natty Bo and the other of us lay on the bed like a baby. I notice that being pregnant brings out the baby in me...I never sleep through the night, I drink more milk than I have ever drank in my life, I prefer soft, easy foods like yogurt and bananas, and I need my clothes to be comfy. Also, I lie around a lot...as Peaches says, all I need to do is rest and grow, much like a baby. Sometimes I get cranky and I need to be cuddled.

Back to the wedding. It was very sweet, with loving vows and a really happy couple who practically beamed "We're totally gonna last" out their pores. They've renovated their house together, which is a pretty good test for lasting couplehood---if you can make it through that, you can make it through nearly anything. I had been apprehensive about seeing my other friends from college, but in the end it was just strange to see them, not bad. They seemed nice enough, but all my real conversation happened with people I didn't know that well in college. Meanwhile, the people who knew and loved me back then didn't even ask about my pregnancy, or much about my life beyond polite small talk. I wondered what this said about me...had I made the wrong friends back then? George, Ilana and others have lasted, and always seemed hardy, solid and close, but it seems like in addition to lucking out with them, I also have a knack for building friendships with people who fool around. I mean, nice people, but who don't ever really get too serious emotionally. They seemed a little freaked out by my pregnancy. Very understandable if we were 22, but at 32, not so much.

As I've gotten older I've seen that I definitely have a capacity for projecting qualities onto people--qualities that just simply aren't there. It's not a blind spot in all cases--reality is my friend--but it happens enough to make things complicated with certain people. I hate to squash that part of myself entirely, since I also get to enjoy a visionary angle on seeing people---seeing beauty in people when it's not easy, beauty that really is there.

Right now I see a beautiful cat begging me with her eyes to throw her Possum.

The next couple days were spent in downtown Boston, presenting a workshop at an annual conference for my company. What would it be like to present a 2.5-hour workshop three times in two days? Six months pregnant? I did run out of breath an awful lot, and once I was finished, I was relieved to not have to hold my energy on the surface. But as I have found in teaching while pregnant, once the mic is on, I'm present. The audience has me. This is a skill I've developed over the last year of frequent teaching, and it's great to know that even when sick, tired, and in spandex, I can come out of the immediacy of me and listen, talk, teach and learn.

Even in business clothes and talking about workplace culture, my feedback was excellent and my audience engaged. When they looked drowsy and vacant, it much like a group ex class that doesn't want you to sub: easy to read and a fun challenge to fix. I drifted near them and shared my energy until they lit up a little. I wish I could do it more. Once a week would be perfect.

So it was good. I got through it all and now to "rest and grow," get kicks and drink milk. Coo like a baby. It's nice, it turns out.