I like having a routine, because everything else... is so unpredictable.
As is typical the case, life has settled into a routine here in Colorado - as I finish up my last few days of deployment. Routine is good - I think it's our human nature to seek normalcy, a routine, in our daily lives....
The morning consists of an all-staff meeting at Headquarters - called a "Stand-Up", as we are all, indeed, standing up. There's just too many of us to find chairs or seats for everyone. Here, our Operations Manager will give a brief report on the day's events, as well as any other important or relevant information. After this, each department usually huddles for their own team meeting, and this is true of my department, as well. The ten or so of us in Public Affairs will meet and go over the assignments for the day - and discuss any potential situations that may erupt.
Afterwards, we all head out for our assignments...and because I've been doing a lot of field work, I usually hit the road and begin traveling to whatever beautiful destination in Colorado I may be covering for the day. Whether that's Boulder, Lyons, Longmont, Loveland - navigating through heavy traffic is always balanced by the beautiful sight of the Rocky Mountain foothills out the window to the west. It's sometimes hard to focus on the tasks at hand when that picturesque scenery is right outside the car window, as each day the view is different, depending on the sunlight, the clouds, or the snow.
My partner and I are both hooked on iced Chai latte tea - so before reaching our destination, our car always seems to find it's way to a Starbucks. It's amazing how that works.
Time is spent talking with people - whether they're fellow Red Cross volunteers, clients, or volunteers with other agencies. It may be a specific story that I'm after - or it may be just to see if there's a potential story there...or sometimes, it's just because I love to talk and to see how people are doing.
What's been wonderful about my assignment is that I've been able to squeeze in visits with friends who live here in Colorado - including Jan, who lives in the affected town of Longmont:
Afternoons are spent taking the notes from the morning and trying to put them in some sort of order, as well as editing the photographs that I've taken. It's my goal to send my content to my editor by 8:00 pm each night, but that doesn't always happen...as the perfectionist in me will tweak and twerk a story until I deem it absolutely perfect.
Sometimes there's dinner...sometimes not...as it depends on just how busy I am. I keep a stash of delicious Trail Mix in my motel room, so I can always be nibbling on something. Every so often, the Public Affairs team gets together for a team dinner, as we did last night at a local Mexican restaurant. I have to admit, the team dinners are fun, and an awesome way to mentally decompress from everything. There's something about sharing a meal with friends, while laughing and carrying on, that restores the soul.
Bedtime is usually around 11:00 pm, following a call to my family back home in Kansas City to check up with how things are at home. The alarm is set for 6:00 am the next morning, although I seem to have developed an awful habit of waking up every morning at 4:30 am, alarm or not. Gah.
The weather, for the most part, has been near-perfect. There was ONE day when a cold, freezing rain fell all day - and since I was outside all that day, I was pretty miserable.
There's a "crud" going around Headquarters now - which is pretty normal for these deployments, as you squeeze together hundreds of people in a small space from all over the country, who are not sleeping or eating properly. I'd managed to stay pretty healthy myself until this morning, when I woke up with a God-awful headache and the familiar pressure on my ears. My body seems to know EXACTLY when it's about time for me to go home - and get on a plane - and always seems to develop a raging sinus infection about this time. This is not what I need right now, so I'm loading up on decongestants this morning. I guess this will be a true test of the effectiveness of my sinus surgery from last April - my fingers are crossed.
So...that's it. Nothing exciting. Nothing dramatic. Just a routine.
And that's a good thing.