I had my first morning commute for my new job in Baton Rouge this morning. I took the interstate mainly because I forgot and went the wrong way. Everybody had warned me that the traffic was horrible, so I wanted to avoid it. I was pleasantly surprised, though. It didn’t take me that long to get to work. I also thought of how traffic issues are relative. Yes, the traffic is worse than the traffic I fought in Memphis because I commuted in the opposite direction from downtown. No, the traffic was nowhere near the traffic snarls I fought everyday in the Chicago area. What I experienced this morning was pretty mild traffic congestion, and, it was a new drive, so I entertained myself taking in the scenery.
A truck in front of me had this cartoon that read, “There’s a new cat in town,” and I had to laugh. I texted it to a friend of mine and asked, “How did they know?” I always tune into a country music radio station in the mornings, but, of course, Baton Rouge features a different station than Kix 106 in Memphis. I wasn’t used to the sense of humor or the cast of characters on WYNK for today’s drive. The humor was a bit lost on me. I’m sure I’ll get to know the DJs and their banter in the not so distant future. There was a DJ that I loved on the country music station I listened to in Knoxville back in the mid-90s. I’ve forgotten her name now, but she moved there right after I did, and I remember how excited she was to be moving up to her own station. I listened to her for years. I was so surprised when I got to the Chicago area, and she was the DJ on that big city station. She had made it to the big time!
I drove up to my new building, and I took a minute to really take a snapshot in my mind of my first day and my first few minutes here. I may be here a long time or I may not. But, there’s only one first day and one first impression. I chose to wear a new dress I bought at Marshall’s yesterday. It was an animal print of some sort – a large cat – so it was sort of appropriate for the new “cat” in town to wear. I met one of my new teammates, and she had on a leopard print blouse. All day long, people joked about us having on matching clothes. She also pointed out that my glasses matched my dress. I hadn’t realized that, and it was probably a little too put together for how I like to show up. I prefer quirky over put together.
My animal print co-worker had a Keurig in her office, and we all had a cup of coffee together before getting started on my little orientation. It was a pleasant day altogether. I met several people and got a broad overview of the environment. It is going to be different being in education rather than a corporation, but we still are serving customers. It’s just a different kind of product. I love the building. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places and is beautifully preserved with hardwood floors and painted woodwork. The air conditioning works. I froze to death all day. It’s a pleasant change from the overly warm temps in my office in Memphis. I can always put on a sweater, but I can’t take enough off to stay professional AND get cool. With a Keurig around, I can always warm up with a good cup of coffee, too. Yes, I know I’m not supposed to be drinking it.
It was great to be in a routine this morning. I have a friend that I talk to in the mornings when I’m drinking coffee … or tea, and we got back on schedule after a long hiatus. I packed greek yogurt laced with Steen’s Cane Syrup and added sliced plums and mango for my afternoon snack. I packed rice cakes, peanut butter and some nuts for a desk stash. With my hypoglycemia, I have to have high protein snacks to prevent my blood sugar crashes. I know my animals will feel much more secure with a routine. My dog doesn’t know when I’m returning, and she’s really been suffering from separation anxiety. When I’m home, she won’t leave her kennel, and when I’m gone, she’s broken out of it. I think the routine will help her settle down a bit. I know it helped me to be back in a routine today.
On my drive home tonight, I got lost again. I’ve stayed lost a large percentage of the time here, but I’ve finally accepted that it will happen. There were thunderstorms all afternoon, and I noticed a rainbow ahead of me on the highway. I haven’t seen a rainbow in awhile. I’m sure they’ve been there, but they are sometimes so faint that I don’t see them unless I’m really paying attention. It made me smile. It was just a nice little reminder that it’s the little things that make a day special. Today was special because it was my first day at a new job, but the really special things were having my first cup of coffee with new friends, seeing my nephew on his birthday, finding out that traffic was manageable and savoring that pretty little rainbow.