I'm finally scheduled to be home for around a month now, so I feel like I can finally settle down a bit and let the engagement sink in. After all the hustle and bustle around the engagement, I have one piece of advice for any men who are thinking of how to propose to their girlfriends: PACE THYSELF.
My original reason for setting our engagement trip for the time I did was that it surrounded the day for Don Giovanni that would allow us to have the best seats possible. I had originally thought that it was her dream to see that particular opera. However, in my haste to fulfill her fantasy, I neglected to clarify that it was any Mozart opera that she wanted to see, and especially in Nashville. After I made the initial plans to take her to New York, she clarified that the Marriage of Figaro would probably be the one she'd most wanted to see, which was playing in her second-favorite city, Seattle, a month later. Thus, had I been a bit more cautious, I could have made her even happier.
The Seattle show would have also been a much better fit with my schedule. I underestimated how stressful it would be to go from the engagement trip to a professional conference (in which I was giving a talk) with only one day between trips. To add insult to injury, I had some major supervising to do on my honors student's thesis the week before, and I had to make arrangements for getting some critical equipment fixed the day after I got back from the conference as I was preparing to go on the engagement trip. Truly, my planning sucked and made it so that I was preoccupied with work concerns when I should have been able to enjoy our first, special trip together.
However, like so many other bumps, I think we're weathering this one relatively well. She seems to miss me while I'm gone, which is an oddity for her; hopefully, a week-long trip I tried planning while at the conference won't be too hard on her. Conversely, I hope the pressures of my work schedule lessen so that I can focus more on her, as she deserves. I couldn't do most of the things I was hoping to do while she was visiting her parents this weekend because I was dead tired from all the travel!