It’s really nice to be home. My wife asked me if I missed being home while I was in Busan. I told her honestly that I was glad to be home, but I did not really miss it while I was away for the APEC Summit. Before you respond critically to that statement, let me explain why I felt this way. Working at the APEC Summit was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Rarely is one given the opportunity to be midst of such excitement and exhilaration. Only people who work being the scenes at major events such as the Olympics or G-8 Summit know what it’s like to be involved in an event such as this. I was so busy in Busan that I had little time to miss being home. The longing to head home returned whenever the excitement of the APEC Summit subsided, such as during yesterday when I returned to Seoul from Busan via the KTX Train. Otherwise, I had little time to think about it.
I came home yesterday and was greeted by my son, who rushed to the door to welcome me with open arms. You can’t replace the joy of your child welcoming you home. I bought him a new, challenging puzzle to work on, and we solved it together. We went to the store together and had dinner together. Those are great moments in life that you can never replace. But being a part of the APEC Summit was absolutely unforgettable. Knowing that I played a small role in a nearly flawless performance was very satisfying to me. "Rubbing elbows with the elites," as I like to joke about working amidst some of the world’s most influential leaders, was thrilling. Each year during the Summit someone does what I did. Next year someone will do the same job as mine when the APEC Summit is hosted by Vietnam in Hanoi. I’m sure they will be just as thrilled as I was.
Now that I’m home, I can unwind and go back to enjoying home life. In fact, we already have the next few days through Thanksgiving planned out. I plan to work on Wednesday and Friday while many people are on vacation, and on Thanksgiving I will join the community association for our annual Thanksgiving celebration. Thursday evening our family will drag out the Christmas decorations and put up our Christmas tree, an annual ritual at our house. I’m looking forward to it. I may not be "rubbing elbows with the elites," but I’ll be stringing lights and garland with my family. Now that the APEC Summit is over, that’s just fine with me.
Blog Note: I received a big surprise in the mail today. My friend Courtney, who I met last August in Seoul, sent me a belated birthday present. Wow! I am so happy. Thank you, Courtney, for such a thoughtful birthday gift. She bought me a very nice necktie. I posted a photo of it along with the nice card she sent me. I will wear the necktie with pride at work. I guess she took pity on me for lamenting about my frayed neckties! (I’ll need to figure out a way to wear it at work and not snag it on the counter at the office.) This birthday is the best one I’ve ever had, because I get to celebrate it over and over again. Thanks, Courtney.
I also posted a couple of recent photos. The first one is a photo of my wife with former President Bush taken two weeks ago. The second one is of me in front of Air Force One taken last week in Busan.