Sunday, May 17, 2009

Travel Torture

I think that on average I have slept only three hours nightly this week. and I wonder when it will catch up with me and prevent me from functioning.The alarm in my hotel room woke me up at 5 and once up I could no longer sleep so after a shower I put on the same clothes I had worn yesterday and headed for the airport. The sun was shining brightly and the famous 'Mall of America' spread out in all directions. I know this is a destination for travelers, but it feels as if I have seen enough and do not need to return as a tourist. Unfortunately my next flight is delayed and I will arrive in San Francisco too late to make it to the course that starts early this morning. Now I wish I had changed my flight so that I could watch Maya in her ballet today. I had organized this trip long before I knew her schedule and could have changed all my plans to work around her event. Instead, I made the decision that the CME's were important and that I had seen Maya dance countless times and will again in the future. Now that I have gone through with this inconvenient trip and have missed the course anyway, I wish I had stayed in Baltimore one extra day. I enjoy watching ballet. I have seen these children develop in the Peabody program for three or four years, so seeing the bigger girls in the major roles has been incredibly inspiring. In the past I have been one of the mothers who have dressed the children and ushered them on and off the stage. It has taken time and energy, but it has been fun and entertaining. I felt sad when I went to watch the rehearsal yesterday and talked to the mothers who would be doing the honours this year. I missed Maya's practice, and was told she was wonderful. She has several roles this year. Usually she practices for hours and hours and then has a few seconds on the stage and it is easy to wonder what in the world all those hours and hours of rehearsals were all about. Maya absolutely loves going to ballet practice and rehearsals and shines as part of the team effort. It means alot to her and although it feels as if it too much for her and for her parents, we do it anyway. Today is the culmination of all those hours and effort and I am disappointed not to be there with her. Eric will buy the DVD of the show, but the small screen does not feel the same as the live performance. Eric tolerates the experience and I am sure he enjoys watching Maya for the moments she is onstage, but I am sure he would rather be at work or doing something more useful. Maya's passion for ballet is unexpected. she started with ballet when very small, but also did gymnastics and soccer and swimming and skating. At one point I felt she was doing far too much and I pushed her to decide on one activity plus violin, and she had no hesitation when she chose ballet. That was fine for me, until she started to advance and that meant four days a week of ballet, which makes our evenings and Saturdays and sometimes Sundays devoted to dance. I wonder how we got into this routine, and every time I try to divert Maya, she is insistent that we follow the program. Ecuador will be a break from this routine. Yeah! Time for my flight, hours late, hour in planes and airports and crummy hotels.

My flight finally left Minneapolis and despite my greatest efforts I was unable to sleep in the plane. I wasted no time once in San Franciso to race in un unairconditioned taxi to my hotel, shower, change and ran to the convention centre to register and catch the last two hours of the course I was taking, which ended up being about infidelity and the role of the psychiatrist in dealing with both the perpetrator and the victim and the couple. The lecturer clearly felt infidelity was the norm and had statistics to prove it. He felt that marriage was an institution desined to bring up children, and that t was not typical of humans to stay faithful to one person, and that as psychiatrists, our job is to preserve the mental health of the individuals involved, including the children who when exposed to infidelity can be incredibly damaged. The message was to keep the infidelity private and to work on protecting the various participants from excessive suffering. I missed the bulk of the course, which adressed love and desire as well as infidelity. It is unusual for me to choose such a course. Usually I attend lectures on psychopharmacology of depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, anxiety and PTSD. Perhaps because I am leaving for a year, I decided to look at more psychotherapeutic fields. I like doing psychotherapy, which is the part of my work I enjoy most.

I met both my sisters outside in the incredible sunshine. It is hot hot hot here, the sky is a brilliant blue, and the locals are wearing their summer attire. I will have to shop for lighter clothing---it was raining in Baltimore when I left. Karen is here for a few days and has taken up golfing wiht our nephew Edouard. I had not seen Karen since our visit to France last year! Monica lives in Los Altos Hills (and Boston - she flies back and forth) and visited us with her family at Thanksgiving in November. This is a rare event to have all three girls together. I was starving, having not eaten last night or this afternoon.We caught up over caprese salad and iced tea. I was curious that my sister Karen's reading of my blog has impressed her with how scared and apprehensive I am. I suppose I need to reread what I have written. I usually write and edit and publish, without rereading. The point is that I do have fears and apprehensions, but I was not aware that I was excessivley scared. I suppose all my doubts and anxieties are expressed in my wrtiing. I must think and sort out how fearful I truly am.

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