Friday, December 31, 2010

Waiting is the hardest part

Living with the knowledge that we're probably going to Paris for an extended period of time, but having absolutely no information on how it is all to come about is, well, it's driving me crazy.  Notice I said probably going to Paris.  I suppose there is a 99.37% chance that we're going.  But that means there's a 0.63% chance that we're not.  Or that I'm not and Ron is.  My brain won't stop working it and massaging it and turning it over and placing it here and then moving it over there and then burying it like a bone, to be dug up and enjoyed later.

On the one hand, I'm so incredibly excited that I can hardly contain myself.  On the other hand, I'm so afraid of the 0.63% chance that I try to keep it in check and remind myself of that 0.63% and console myself that if it doesn't happen, well, then, probable was pretty darn close, 99.37% close and maybe the next time will be for real.

Ron and I are at times giddy (We're going to Paris!) and at times overwhelmed (Oh my god.  We're going to Paris.  What do we do about _____???).  But this break for the holidays means all we can do is wonder, cogitate, dream, ponder and make lists.  Oh lordy, we're good at making lists.  The lists are on scraps of paper we dug out of my purse while at Costco, they're on pads of paper from the office, they're on the backs of napkins from the Chinese restaurant and one or two of them have made their way to a Word document.   

We have lots of thoughts and ideas but are frozen to inaction.  What if, in this week while everyone is holidaying, someone isn't holidaying and changing their mind?  What if someone, in a moment of relaxed clarity says, "What were we thinking?  We can't let Ron go to Paris!"  What if the project gets canceled before Ron gets there?  What if someone up the flagpole says, "No way!  Putting someone on the ground in Paris is NOT in the budget."  That 0.63% is nagging at us, picking away at us so that every time we have a few minutes to think about what we should be doing to get ready, we stop.  How does one get ready for probable?  How much effort does one put into probable?  

We are determined to enjoy the time off, enjoy our Lodge since we may not see if for six months or so and we are determined to try to relax during this week of no work.  Next week may be a very different story.
view from the Ski Lodge living room

Ron riding my motorcycle in the snow!
So we're trying.  But we can't help ourselves. 


Pont Alexandre III -19th Century Bridge in Paris with a view to Napolean's Tomb

Arc de Triomphe

Sunday, December 26, 2010


December 23 is a day I shall never forget.  It was a day that another dream came true.

Years ago, we discovered that we love to travel.  The natural progression, at least for us, was to wonder what it might be like to live in a foreign country for a while.  We talked about it often, agreed that if we ever had the opportunity to do so we should take it and always hoped that somehow, some way, an opportunity would present itself.  There have been many times through the years that it was possible, but not probable or practical, but still, we kept hoping.  More recently, there was some murmuring about the possibility of working in Paris.  Ron didn't really have to ask, but he did any way.  "What are your thoughts?  Are you interested?"  The answer is always the same, "Of course!"  But I didn't get my hopes up because possible and probable are two very different things.  

I wish I had it all documented, tape recorded, permanently etched in my brain, but because I was too afraid to get excited about another possible, it didn't occur to me to try to preserve the sequence of events.  Sometime during the week leading up to Christmas 2010, Ron told me that a coworker was asked to go to Paris.  See?  Possible, but not probable.  I was disappointed that another possible passed us by.  But wait!  The coworker can't go!  What does this mean???  I would like to say that I was sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting to find out if Ron would get the offer.  But it was a busy week and Christmas was fast approaching and there was so much stuff to do.  Another possible just couldn't take up too much real estate in my head, so I didn't think about it much.  I was planning menus, and purchasing last minute gifts and editing photos and, and, and.  I remember one evening during dinner we chatted about it and we talked about some strategies to get Ron's name in front of the right people.  But still, another possible that probably isn't probable, so I could not would not get my hopes up.  

December 23 was a day like any other December 23.  The day before the day before Christmas is a busy one and I was busy.  Somewhere floating around in my gray matter I knew Ron was trying to get his name on the list of candidates to go to Paris.  I don't know the people or the process and it's December 23 for crying out loud.  The odds of anything happening this late in the game, this late in the week, this close to Christmas and the end of the year shut down are slim at best.  So I was blissfully unaware that possible was morphing into probable.

Then Ron called me.

"I'm on my way home.  What does sigalert look like?"  We played this game nearly every day.  He would leave work and simultaneously call me on his cell.  I would check out sigalert on-line and guide him home on the route with the least traffic.   So I start guiding him.  And then he says, "So there's a good possibility I'm going to Paris."

Oh.My.Gosh.  Yay!  Wait! Don't get your hopes up!  He said POSSIBILITY!  So we have the strangest conversation ever.  I need answers, he's trying to drive, I'm asking questions, he's trying to answer.  I'm too excited even though I'm not supposed to be excited to even think straight and ask all the right questions.  He says he needs to call someone and ask more questions himself, so we agree to hang up and we'll talk as soon as he gets here.

I think it took him 4 days to get home.  The waiting was interminable, torturous.  He arrives and even though I'm not very excited I can hardly contain myself.  Possible has been on our radar many times, but this was tangible possible.  This was they're actually talking about it possible.  This was Ron and Paris used in the same sentence possible.  We had never been this close to probable before.  Unfortunately, the phone call he needed to make on the drive home ended up being a message.  No answer on the other line.  I was deflated, but only a little bit.

We were both very hungry and were planning to have a late lunch together, but before we could go,  Ron's phone rang.  It was him.  Him who would choose who goes to Paris.  I have listened to a lot of one-sided phone conversations before, but this one damn near killed me.  Eventually, Ron put the phone on speaker mode so I could hear what he was hearing.  There was a lot of yadda yadda and lot of this and that and lot of well you knows, but in the end he said,

"You need to plan on going and being in Paris by mid-January.  And you should plan on your wife going with you."


La Tour Eiffel