Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Operation Cowboy Boots

For Monday, October 10, 2011

Anticipating my business trip to Houston, Texas, a trip that would take me away from my family on a holiday weekend, I wasn’t happy. I would miss my daughter’s fall break and a three day weekend. Suffering the lingering effects of a cold and anxious over not having flown in 18 years, my mood wasn’t good. But I wasn’t sulking. Instead I felt this strange disappointment in my mood. My sour emotions were not me. I wanted to be excited. I was recognizing the fact that this rare trip to an educational conference at Rice University was an opportunity to travel, something beloved I had always enjoyed doing, and had not done in quite some time,

To improve my mood I was determined to find something exciting to look forward to on this trip. I would be in classes for most of my time, but I knew that I had a few evenings and a full afternoon of freedom before I’d catch a flight home. I gave thought to my two male coworkers who would join me on this trip. I would not be traveling with fellow female colleagues so a trip to a day spa or endless shopping adventures did not seem practical. What could I do? What could I look forward to? Sure, there were some nice museums but I needed something in particular that would get me completely charged up for this trip. Then, it came to me. Boots. Cowboy boots. I made a pledge to come back home with a great pair of cowboy boots.

That’s all it took. I grew positively giddy. I felt myself breathe deeply and a big smile spread across my face. I’d been to Houston 35 years earlier when my Mom and I joined my Dad on one of his business trips. Later when they went again without me, my Mom had returned home telling me how she had almost purchased a pair of green cowboy boots for me. “But I wasn’t sure if you’d like them”, she’d said. Oh, I’d been so very disappointed. But here was my chance to get myself a pair! Within minutes of sharing my new goal on Facebook I even had the name of a recommended store to find.

I scoured the store’s website and felt the adrenaline building. Forever a lover of fashion I went from page to page and made mental notes of styles I liked. I sent the link to my 16 year old daughter remembering that she had long wanted an authentic Texan cowboy hat. She sent back a few images of the hats she liked. Operation Cowboy Boots was now a reality. I would carve out the time and the means to find this store. I would be successful in my mission.

To my delight, coworkers Kevin and Matt joined me on my shopping adventure. Taking a taxi to Cavender’s, I happily went off to find Emma’s hat. Then I made my way over to the boots. I tried on several pairs but it was the first pair of boots that I fell in love with. They were not the green ones my Mom had almost come home with years earlier; they were even better. They were RED. Red has always been my power color. This pair was meant to be.

While I’d been shopping, Matt found me. I had my red boots on but had not quite settled on them at that moment. “You have the biggest smile on your face right now”, he said to me. “It’s really nice to see”. It was true. I was happy.

Operation Cowboy Boots was a true success. Mission Accomplished.

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