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So after a brilliant week in the Upper Peninsula, more about that later this week, I rushed off to a professional workshop for five days. What was I thinking? To go from lounging on the beach in the sun to sitting in a squishy cushioned chair with no lumbar support in an over-air-conditioned conference room with no windows for eight+ hours a day? Insanity.

When I left home yesterday, my husband commented that I was having trouble relinquishing control–this as I delivered a stream of “don’t forgets.” As part of my middle-aged zen, I affirmed his assessment, then walked out the door, leaving the laundry undone, the groceries unpurchased, the dinner unmade. I haven’t received any 911 type of phone calls, so I’m assuming they’re all surviving without me.

I have a roommate in the hotel. She’s cool, but I’m middle-aged, so the whole roommate thing is a readjustment to younger days for me. This morning we drove to the conference site and found that things weren’t quite set up yet. We didn’t quite start on time. The workshop is not quite (meaning nowhere near) full. A workshop for 15 people is being attended by five. VIP treatment. Nice spin. Poor organizer.

People are rude. They cancelled last minute. One woman showed up just before lunch, complained about the session list once we got back into the conference room and said she wished she hadn’t come. She spent the afternoon sessions browsing the web. Seriously. This is an older woman. Rudeness is not reserved for the young, particularly digital rudeness. At the end of the day, she left and is not coming back. Turns out she has not paid her fees and has no intention of doing so. Unethical behavior also has no age boundaries.

Did I enjoy sitting all day listening to material that I could have read at home in half the time? Not particularly. However, would I have read it at home, even in half the time? Not so likely, which is why I committed to coming to this workshop right after my vacation.

And God sent me a bonus. When I went to the hotel’s exercise room last night to get some actual exercise after hours in the car, I turned on the TV (I was the only person using the room) and Bridget Jones’ Diary had just come on. It was just the motivation I needed to exercise for 90 minutes and enough to scare away the one man who looked in to check out the facilities. And a youngish Hugh Grant and Colin Firth were enough to pull me through the dry moments of professional workshop today. I think I’ll watch it again when I get home just to hear Colin Firth say he likes Bridget very much, just the way she is. Now off to the exercise room to change the way I am:)

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