Friday, April 1, 2016

April 1

Kailey woke up this morning and came bounding into our room yelling, "it's the start of my birthday month!"  She did this last year, too.  April is definitely this girl's favorite month.  And, we have no shortage of fun things planned for her birthday this year.  We'll bring treats to school.  Grammy is coming for her birthday weekend.  And, the following weekend, we are throwing her a Harry Potter birthday party that, admittedly, is way over the top.  But, it's been fun to plan (we started planning months ago).  And, clearly, she is very excited.

In the midst of all the partying, I have a month of travel that is brutal.  I'm in Chicago April 6 - 7, San Diego April 13 - 14, Los Angeles April 22 (the day before the party), and again on April 25th (the Monday after the party).  In year's past, we would have all gone to Chicago or San Diego together -- and added that to the birthday festivities.  But, life has gotten so much busier with both our jobs.  And, Kai is in school and it's more difficult to pull her out.  So, now I do these trips as quickly as possible, which means traveling early and coming home late and having no time to actually enjoy any of the places where I land.

And the travel is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of all that I have to juggle this month.  I also am doing these monthly webinars which I coordinate -- which entails finding speakers, editing their slides, prepping them, recruiting participants, and then actually doing the training.  I am doing 2 - 3 at a time to stay on top of the schedule. So, while the April one is nearly finalized (other than editing the slides and doing the prep calls), May is at the beginning stages of identifying speakers, and we are just creating the outreach materials for June.  And, we have numerous bills up in committee this month -- which means preparing testimony, recruiting caregivers and youth and advocates to come to the hearing, prepping their testimony, doing legislative visits in advance, and following up afterwards.  And, the biggest piece is working with leg staff on amendments to the bill to address whatever issues they have identified.  The drafting takes a long time because it has to be vetted with so many people.  And, I'm having issues with the attorney I manage, so that is taking significant time to manage her and all of her projects.  And, my assistant is leaving for law school, so I am also needing to find time to go through the applicants for his job and interview candidates.  And, the issue I've been most dedicated to for 5 years (equity for relatives) is at a critical juncture which is requiring a lot of negotiation, press, coalition management, and more.

I don't write about my job here a lot -- but, these months when my work is so crazy and the things we are doing at home are so intense are really hard.  I'm trying to enjoy Kai's enthusiasm and anticipation without being overwhelmed by how much I have to do and how little time there is to do any of it.  I'm trying not to be crabby in the face of her excitement, but I often fail.  This is one of those months that should be pure joy -- we have so many fun things planned.  But, as the month looms, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.  And I know by the month's end, I'll be completely exhausted.  But, May is no less crazy (my travel schedule continues as does every thing else listed above). And, it's my birthday (40!) And then June is much the same -- with more crazy travel, work and Eric's birthday (and Eric's crazy summer travel schedule starting). 

I guess all of this is to say I'm looking forward to our season of birthdays and also am exhausted by it.  And, looking forward to August.  So far, August looks like a pretty calm month.

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