Even without bottomess wine.
At the very last second, I ran out to the hallway of the Wingate by Windham in Buckhead to take Erin and Bess' photo. (Which they approved for cuteness.) I figured it would be more interesting than yet another still life in hotel room...hey! People! Sometimes, I hang out with living beings who aren't overly stimulated by catnip!
So Erin finds herself, at least half a dozen times a day, saying, "I love us," about: her coworkers in Hallmark's recruiting department, her coworkers at Hallmark, the people she's having dinner with, the people she's recruiting...you get the idea. This might lead you to believe that 1. Erin is prone to hyperbole, or 2. Erin has a Camelback full of Hallmark Kool-Aid.
Not saying that neither is true. HOWEVER...
It's hard to work with the folks we work with—or hang out with folks like we've gotten the chance to chat with today—and not leave saying, "I LOVE US." We spent tonight at One Midtown Kitchen (one of my sister and her husband's favorite restaurants—and not just because they have a "bottomless" wine selection that lets you choose 4+ glasses of wine for a set price right around their bottle rate) with four members of the Portfolio Center faculty.
I am not a mingler. Have I mentioned that? So I was a little nervous about spending an evening with smart talented people I didn't know. But after a day with the Portfolio Center's Hank Richardson, I was starting to get a sense we had more in common with these folks than some similar job titles on resumes. Hank is tough to keep up with—his brain works so fast I felt like I needed to take notes during our chat—but I did get from our conversation that the fit with my company and his school had a lot to do with our passion for creativity.
When I can get past the fear of coming across as an idiot and just relax into the conversation, I realize how blessed (and that's exactly the word I want) I am to get to spend the majority of my waking hours with people who create for a living. In the eight hours I earn my living, I work at one of the world's most creative companies—1,100 people getting paid to write, design, illustrate, letter, think—and when I'm off duty, I hang out with improvisers. I'm surrounded by people who, when they look at the world, see it through a filter that makes it more interesting or amusing. When they talk about their lives, they see humor, joy and wonder in their experiences and relationships.
It's funny—when I talk about Hallmark to improvisers and improv to Hallmarkers, they're usually pretty intrigued by it. It's easy to take it for granted. It's easy to let it feel like work. I need to figure out how to hold on to the wonder—to remind myself that what I actually do for "work" is hang out with artists.