woman driving carBy Kim Fernandez, CAE

There’s a day-long road trip in my near future. Next week, I’ll fill the tank, pop into the Wawa for my obligatory bag of Combos, head across the Chesapeake, and pick up my son from college, where he’s spent the summer in a research program. Three hours over, an hour to pack the car and grab lunch, and three hours back, assuming no Bay Bridge backup shenanigans (not always a fair assumption).

My husband reached for his calendar yesterday, thinking maybe he could clear his schedule and come with. I politely declined. As tired as I am by the end of these driving days, I look forward to them very much–not just because there are a few weeks with a grown-up kid at the end, but because those hours on the highway by myself with my playlist and my snacks and the sunroof open serve to blow out the mess of cobwebs from between my ears.  They’re breathing time, thinking time, processing time, and, in some odd way, relaxing time.

It’s been a challenging year to find quiet hours without a name on them. Somebody’s always home, somebody always wants to come with, there’s always a reason I should be doing something else besides sitting. College pick-up is the perfect excuse–and a reminder to myself that a few refresh hours here and there are a wise investment.

So I’m updating my playlist, checking the weather, shutting my phone and all its beeps in the glove box, and looking forward to the trip.  Hoping for sunshine and a cool breeze, super excited to bring the kid back for a bit, and knowing it’s going to be a good day.

Kim Fernandez, CAE, is IPMI’s director of publications.