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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07


Our local Target store has been busy lately. Very. We made the mistake of trying to go to Target the same weekend as kids were moving into VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University). One glance at the parking lot and we gave up and went home. We didn’t need anything that bad.

I was off of work today and yesterday. My boss felt I needed the time off and he couldn’t have been more correct. So - I braved Target today. It was still busy. We needed a new hair dryer after ours died in dramatic and spectacular fashion as hair dryers tend to do - smoke and the threat of fire.

It was still busy. But I was able to park in the store parking lot, rather than a neighboring parking lot, so this was an improvement.

I stood in a slow line. They all looked slow. The young woman behind me had a Halloween calendar that was like an advent calendar, but counting down to Halloween rather than Christmas. I complimented her cute little calendar and she told me she was a teacher, adding, “I know it’s a little early but thought I should get it when I saw it.”

It really isn’t that early - the last part of the year always gallops past.

I turn my attention to the guy in front of me. He’s young, but at least 21, with all the optimism that accompanies youth. In his case, judging by the enormous box of Trojan condoms, he’s clearly optimistic about getting laid a lot. Good for him, I think, as the cashier rings up his cart of alcohol, frozen pizzas, frozen waffles and Trojans. Many years ago, someone once told me that newlyweds should put a penny in a large jar every time they have sex during their first year of marriage. Then, they should take a penny out every time they have sex in subsequent years. “The jar will never get emptied!” This person mused.

As I leave, I wish the woman behind me a good school year. I don’t add “stay safe” although I’m thinking it. I mean - the guy in front of me is thinking safety.

I finally emerge from the store and narrowly avoid being run over by two young girls in a Subaru with Massachusetts plates.  I take the Highway home from Target and it’s clogged with traffic which is unusual (in comparison to MA). It turns out there’s an accident - there’s usually a reason for bad traffic here, unlike MA where sheer volume chokes the roadways.

This week started particularly bad professionally. Although as an HR person, I know I had the better end of things. Recently, Andrea pointed out that I don’t take much of anything personally in my personal life. In my work life, I take more than I should personally. As the head of HR, I pick up what isn’t mine. This isn’t realistic or sustainable. So, I’m examining what I tolerate. I’m setting up a plan that will support my own self care. A plan for sustainability. Boundaries. All things I recommend for others and lost sight of for myself. This morning, I pulled an oracle card that was about pulling an offending thorn from your foot rather than continue piercing yourself with it.

There's a lot going on in this picture but I'm going to sage my office and Andrea's old office.

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