March 12, 2018

Weekend Recap: Ups and Downs

This weekend started out rough. I was at a conference Tuesday through Friday last week, and Friday was a “networking ski day”, where we’d get to ski Park City and make connections on the slopes. Having done some business ski trips in the past, I knew that the chairlifts are an excellent time to make connections and get into good conversations, and I was really excited about it! I got really nervous after spraining my foot that I wouldn’t be able to participate, but when I was able to ski just fine after only a week’s rest, I resumed getting pumped up again.

Unfortunately, on Thursday night while I was attending the evening event at the conference (a Tony Hawk skateboarding exhibition and private concert by Maroon 5 – pretty cool!), someone stole my jacket off the coat rack at the venue. And not just any jacket – I had only brought one coat to the conference, so it was my ski jacket! Since I discovered this at 11pm (long after stores had closed), and would be departing for the mountains at 7am (long before stores would reopen), this was a really frustrating setback. My jacket wasn’t even super nice – I couldn’t believe someone had been cruel enough to steal it!

Fortunately, the conference had an amazing feature called “The Dream Team” – a group of staffers who were like fairy godmothers in their ability to grant wishes and solve problems. Despite the late hour, I texted the Dream Team to let them know of my predicament. (I will admit that over the course of the conference, I had befriended several people on the Dream Team, so that may have helped ensure my call for help would be answered.) And before long, the head of the Dream Team gave me his phone number to meet up with him when I got to Park City, and he’d take me shopping for a new ski jacket so I could hit the slopes!

Here’s me in my shiny new ski jacket! I’m thoroughly in awe of the Dream Team’s ability to make dreams come true – more on this to come in a future post.

I had a great day Friday skiing with some new friends / colleagues I met at the conference, and before I knew it, it was time to head to the airport and fly home. I was psyched to land a few minutes early, since I had dinner plans when I got back to Denver, and beelined it out to my car so I could stop home and change before heading downtown. Wishful thinking, as here I was thwarted again: when I pushed the button to start my car, nothing happened except lots of electronic beeping and an error message that said “service shifter.”

I’m not proud of it, but this was basically my reaction as I tried to work with Geico and three towing companies over several hours to get help – crying, miserable, and WHYYYYYY me. At 10pm, I finally gave up, abandoned my Jeep at the airport parking garage, and got a rental car to take me home for the night.

I was a mess on Friday night by the time I eventually got home. It wasn’t just the car, but my frustration at just how many things have gone wrong this year (and even just in the last week). And when I really stopped to think about it, I wasn’t so upset that all these bad things kept happening, but I was mad at myself for not reacting better to all of these misfortunes.

In 2017, I was really proud that I seemed to have developed the ability to respond to challenges with Pollyanna-like positivity. But somewhere in the last few months, that optimism has evaporated – most likely due to some combo of stress and lack of sleep. When I finally went to bed Friday night, I self-soothed by telling myself that I would take the weekend to get caught up on some things that were stressing me out, and also start figuring out what I needed to alleviate all the stress going forward.

Unfortunately, that vow to alleviate stress got off to quite a rocky start. After driving back to the airport first thing Saturday morning and spending another three hours getting my car out of the parking garage and towed to a repair shop, the serviceman told me that his best guess based on my description is it may need a new transmission. On a four year old car that I really haven’t ridden that hard? Yikes. I am trying not to think about that possibility until they get under the hood and can get me an official diagnosis (hopefully by tomorrow).

And if they can’t get it fixed, I’ve decided I’m upgrading my Jeep to a luxury car. I am not a car person at all and have never cared what I drive, but I was really disappointed that there’s no such thing as a loaner car for Jeeps – which I really could have used given that my car is out of commission for at least a week. Sky blue Porsche convertible, here I come! (Just kidding.)

But after that? My weekend started looking up! I rescheduled my dinner plans to lunch on Saturday, and enjoyed a delicious bowl of ramen at Oak on Fourteenth (#ComfortFood). After lunch, I had some down time at home to unpack, settle in, and regroup, and then I headed out to a neighbor’s house for a new-to-me type of event: a house concert.

Jen and Lee Simon live in my neighborhood, and started Sounds of Simon to host intimate concerts at their beautiful home. This month, Ryan Montbleau was playing, and all it took was $20 and a potluck dish to secure my entrance – and a prime seat just ten feet away from where Ryan was playing in the living room!

I snagged a quick pic with Ryan in between sets, and after posting it on Instagram, found out that my sister-in-law loves Ryan and that she and my brother are going to his concert in Saratoga in a few weeks! Now I kind of want to head back to New York and join them… Ryan was fabulously talented and I’m now listening to him nonstop on Spotify.

I absolutely loved this event, and can’t wait to attend more Sounds of Simon concerts in the future. If anyone else is in the Denver metroplex, let me know if you’d like to join! It was a really neat and intimate experience, and I’m looking forward to getting to know some new-to-me artists as well as making new friends as I attend more of these shows.

And that took me to Sunday – when I slept in all the way till 8am, worked most of the day, and also snuck in some novel reading to relax me. I’m pretty behind on my 100 book challenge this year, and it was nice to catch up and also get some escape reading in. It’s true that I didn’t get around to actually figuring out a gameplan to stop the stress, but I’m glad that I at least was able to relax a bit before it’s off to the races again.

Happy Monday!


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