Trading Places

I (Kyle) have been at Ernst & Young for just over a year now, which has been a bit of an adventure. Most of this adventure has taken place in the air, as I find myself on the road over half of the time. Correspondingly, Olivia is often home alone during the weeks until I return for the weekend. Of course, we would prefer to be together, but if one of us has to be gone I think it makes sense for it to be me, based on simple survival skills alone.

A visual representation of my tears

A visual representation of my tears

When I travel, I have to deal with renting a car, navigating an airport, and packing and unpacking constantly, things for which I am probably better prepared. Meanwhile, when Olivia is home by herself she can cook food that will last three times as long, study in peace without sports going on in the background, and has free reign to use those noisy sewing machines. However, things do not work so well when our roles are reversed.

Olivia has spent the last couple weeks in Georgia with her parents as she prepares for her big exam. Since she does not get to see them as often and she rarely gets breaks from school, it worked out well for her to spend some time there. It seemed even more like a no-brainer when my whole May schedule was committed to being on the road. Since I was going to be gone anyway, what is the point of her staying home when she could visit her family?

The rest of the story was almost too predictable. My schedule got shifted around at the last minute and I wound up working from the living room of our apartment while my wife was ironically 900 miles away. As a homebody, this has not been the worst experience, but it does give me appreciation for what she experiences while I am away.

I already knew that Olivia does a great job of taking care of me, but these last couple of weeks have been another helpful reminder.

For example, normally Olivia is in charge of the cooking, so in preparation for her absence, we stocked up on frozen Trader Joe's meals. It seemed like a great solution until she discovered (while in Georgia) that the fried rice I ate was recently added to their recall list for listeria contamination (whatever that means). She told me not to worry too much though because I am not a baby, pregnant, or elderly - which are the most at risk populations - this is what she's studying for her test. As of writing this post I am still alive.

I know she is having fun in Georgia, but I will be glad when she comes home. It will be nice to spend some time together…until I hit the road again for the next month. But at least things will be a little less backwards. 

P.S. Olivia's big test (as mentioned above) is tomorrow! Keep her in your prayers :)