A Second Look Perhaps I was too tough on Colorado. Having other stresses in my life and not having a winter coat probably clouded my judgement a bit. I'm also a water person, so anytime I'm not in sight of a big bay or ocean I feel closed in. Being in Miami, then Barcelona, then LA has made me totally susceptible to cold-weather shock. It was freezing when I arrived and the heat in the office didn't work.
I realized my sickness was part the lack of sleep and traveling, but also stress. I relistened to a RadioLab about stress. A scientist describes an experiment they did with mice. They threw them into cold water, showed them food, then took it away, and other nasty things I don't condone doing to animals. The mice's reaction was the same--to get flu like symptoms. When my mindset got back in working order, my health came back.
Now things are better. I finally have a winter coat and hat, some thick tights and working heat. My housing is wonderful. A generous retired activist has given us her house for two weeks while she's snorkeling in Bali. (Not bad, huh?) My coworkers are generally pretty darn cool too.
I've seen some beautiful sights--deer grazing in yards, sunsets over the mountains, snow far away on the top of pikes peak. The place as a whole still seems like a suburban trap, but it's just until the election, so for now I'll look above the ground situation to the gorgeous mountains and keep my eye on the prize--election day.
It also helps that many things remind me of my only other Colorado experience--Aspen. Every year I go on a vacation to Aspen with about a hundred other folks from the non-profit world. Many of the apartment buildings echo the architecture from Aspen. The smell and feel of the air--crispness and firewood burning--is just like Aspen. The mountains that circle the town bring back similar memories.
More on Colorado when I catch up on work and sleep.
We were set to end our voter registration drive on Monday with a bang and spend Tuesday packing and tying up loose ends. Then Sunday night at 1am I get a text, "Training strts Tues! Fnsh everythng tomorro!"
We squeezed everything into one day and I had a last hurrah party with the Hampton staff at a director's beach house. I woke up in a daze, dragged myself off the couch and readied myself to move all the heavy stuff from our offices up to the north. My arms already hurt from lifting copiers the day before, but it was nothing compared to the hurt in my head.
We made it up to Richmond, capital of the confederacy, by 1pm. As phase II of the campaign training went on in the hotel conference rooms I holed up in the coffee shop finishing up payroll and budgets. After a few hours I got a call telling me to buy a plane ticket, hop in a cab and get over to Denver.
Here's the point where I should have put on the brakes--I have no warm clothes, not much money left and no strong desire to go to a state without beaches. But instead I spent 1/2 hour on the phone struggling with a computer to buy my plane ticket and spent a restless night on a plane next to a very very fat man in the rear seat that doesn't lean back.
My sole solice was that by the time I arrived at the hotel my posh room had a gorgeous bed layered in down comforters and blankets that I didn't have to share with anyone. I still woke up sick, tired and juggling both jobs at once. After another day I was told I'd be sent to Colorado Springs. If you don't know anything about Colorado Springs, you're probably a good person. Here's where the religious right has made their home base with mega-churches and the headquarters of Focus on the Family--an vehemenently anti-gay, anti-choice hate group.
Needless to say, it's not a pleasant place. It's also so very cold. Since I expected to be able to get my car (and a coat) from LA before October I'm suffering. I can only think of one other time I was this miserable--waiting in line for 2 hours in below freezing weather and wet shoes to check into my condo in Aspen last year. I've become so soft to cold weather, I'm not sure if I'll survive the month, let alone a move to Boston.
Sometimes travel isn't fun at all. Hopefully I'll have better adventures to post about after this election is won.