So I was sat on a train, en-route to Heathrow and eventually the Nurburgring, Italian race cars and ridulously good Italian cuisine. You'd have liked it (it was work by the way).
I found all this exciting when the trip was first planned but, to be honest, one hour into the journey I was already missing my little boy and baby girl and the prospect of not seeing them for two days wasn't all that welcome.
Because there's a big difference between the IDEA of a thing and the reality of actually doing it. That's why it's very easy to agree, in October, to have the family around on Christmas day, when you're feeling all noble and pleased with yourself for being a good, loving family member - the idea of it sounds appealing.
It's also why you probably curse your luck mid-December as the reality of the work and expense become apparent, not to mention how excruciating your brother in law is, or how just know your cousins will outstay their welcome and Grandma will annoy everyone by telling them how to make their kids behave.
There's a big difference between what we think will make us happy and what actually does.
Just like the times, at home, when all I want is half an hour to myself. Sometimes it's perfectly understandable, in a world where one has to lurch into gear every single day at 6am to be in charge of nuclear powered offspring, to be a little whistful towards the days of no responsibilty and doing what the hell you liked.
But as soon as I get a taste of it, all I want is my family. It's always nice when it gets to 8pm and the kids are in bed and it's just the two of you for a bit. But we can't resist going to check in on both of our sleeping little children at bedtime, because we already miss them.
It's true that I'm happy and at peace when I'm in tremendous pain swimming lap after lap, but nothing compares to the simple pleasure of jumping up and down on the trampoline, or reading to Evie Suzanne.
All it takes is a brief spell of the everyday to be taken away to be reminded just how stupidly, deliriously wonderful the everyday actually is.
That goes for work too.
I once had the chance to work in the foreign city of my choice, and great brands with truly exceptional practitioners. I turned them down because we were planning a family.
Now I would have learned more than I could ever dream of, about the job but also about other cultures. There isn't a day when I don't wonder about what might have been, the work I could have done, the stuff I could have been involved with. But then I remember I plan for a living, which really isn't the same as work. I remember to really not care that it's not Nike, that it's mostly engine oil because the Nike bit is the pretentious self image bit that really doesn't matter.
Doing something every day you actually enjoy, that you don't suck at entirely (colleagues may disagree with that bit) with people that are largely OK is the bit that matters.
What I'm saying is that wanting to a famous planner that works on the coolest stuff known to man is OK, but that's not where happiness comes from. It comes from being a planner in the first place and hopefully being given a chance to flourish in your own way.The clients matter less than what you make of them.
Job satisfaction is a comfortable illusion anyway of course, all the little failures and victories at work serve a vital purpose to make us feel useful, but really, for me, work pays for family that is afforded freedoms that others, not so fortunate, don't have.
I heard on the radio about a Mum who walked 40 minutes to school with her son because they can't afford public transport. Then she walks an hour to work.
We are so lucky. People in agencies are so lucky.
Amidst all the politics, deadlines, jostling for 'profile' and whatever else, sometimes it's worth remembering to be happy, by remembering where that really comes from.