April 2014
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A Week Away

I just got back from a five-day business trip. I headed out Monday morning and drove all the way to our Corporate HQ in New Jersey. I worked out of our main office for a day and a half before heading to Nanuet, NY and a 3-day training at Crestron . Training finished up on Friday, which gave me some time and an evening to myself before I drove back on Saturday morning. It was a bit of a whirlwind trip, but I found it oddly invigorating. I missed Kristian and LJ like crazy, but I’m not going to lie… I had forgotten how good it feels to sleep in a little after getting 8+ hours of sleep.

There were a couple of little hitches. Like the small matter of no hot water at my hotel on Monday night (I took a hobo shower and then instructed all of my coworkers not to get too close). But, for the most part, things went really smoothly. I even stepped outside my comfort zone and watched both Red Sox games at the hotel bar.

Normally, I hate going to places of eating and/or drinking by myself. They’re such social activities, it feels awkward to sit by myself at a restaurant or a bar. But I knew that baseball would be more fun to watch if I was with other people. It also didn’t hurt that all of the TVs in that hotel’s room have ancient CRTs in them. If I wanted to watch the game and actually be able to see what was really going on, I had to go where the decent TVs were.

On Wednesday night there was a transplant from New Hampshire in the bar, so he and I had safety in numbers (nobody else who was in there seemed to care at all about baseball). We had a great time watching the game and shooting the shit. One of the guys from my training made an appearance towards the end of the game. He’s Canadian, so my fellow fan and I had a good time explaining baseball to him.

Thursday night, the bar was crowded and they had a Rangers (hockey) game on. I felt awkward about asking for them to change the channel (let’s not forget that I was in enemy territory – Yankees Country), but I told myself that I was being silly and then I forced myself to speak up. The bartender promised to change to baseball, but then the game started and we were all still watching hockey. I started frantically texting with Kristian about whether or not the $3 I had in my wallet would be enough to cover my seltzer water so I could throw down some cash and run back to my room. Then the bartender refilled my drink, I realized that the woman sitting next to me was his sister, and I decided that throwing down money and running away was no longer a viable option.

Lucky for me, there was a Yankees fan from Texas in the bar. He had no problem yelling out that the game had already started.

I ended up ¬†glad that I hadn’t run away. The bartender’s sister was a lovely lady, and we spent a very enjoyable evening chatting it up. Her brother walked over at one point and said, “I didn’t know you guys were friends.” We weren’t buddy, but I guess we are now. She told me a good chunk of her life story. Because that’s just how I roll.

She left sometime around the 6th or 7th inning, but the Canadian from my training came back, so I got to expound at length about the strategies around designated hitters. You know he’s Canadian, because he very politely let me drone on and on about it.

The training itself was great. I had been worried that I’d either be way behind everyone else or that I’d be really bored. I ended up finishing most of the exercises about 15-20 minutes ahead of the class, but I still learned a lot of new stuff. Plus, I pestered the trainer constantly, so I learned all sorts of fun new things by picking his brain. I’ve only been Crestron programming since April, so it was great to realize how quickly I’ve progressed. Most people don’t nerd out on this stuff like I do, so I will spare you the boring details.

We finished up a little early on Friday, but not early enough for me to check out of my hotel room on time. So, I went to the local mall and got my shop on. I know shopping isn’t all that exciting for most people (myself included!), but I pretty much never get the time to walk around leisurely and try stuff on. I mostly just buy things on the internet and hope that they fit. I picked up a couple of pieces that I’m really excited about. But I mostly just enjoyed having the time to myself.

It was hard to be away from my family for so long. And I know it was hard for Kristian to solo parent for so long. But, it was also good for me to spend time doing the things that I normally don’t find a way to do. I got a lot of sleeping “accomplished.” I also went for a run in the hotel gym, and used my kettle bell for a couple of heavy workouts. I wanted to go see a movie, but there wasn’t anything out that I was interested in seeing. So, I rented Iron Man 3 from Amazon streaming and spent a very enjoyable evening making Kristian’s Halloween costume. I even found the time to finish reading “Lean In.”

(I’ll probably write something about it in a later post.)

I think I need to force myself out of my comfort zone more. I think that means spending more time working out and less time watching TV. I think it also means making time to go out and do things. I pushed myself to make the most from this trip, and it really paid off. I bet I can find ways to do more when I’m at home.

1 comment to A Week Away

  • Um I never go to eat alone. If that were me, I would have maybe once ventured out quietly alone, and it would have been short lived. I’m jealous of anyone who can do that, and manage to strike up conversation. That is so out of my comfort zone, whew….

    [Reply]

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