Saturday, October 14, 2006

Something to Write .. or nothing at all?

The excuse is? ….

  1. Not making time
  2. Nothing to say
  3. Inhibited to say anything
  4. Lazy
  5. Disappointed
  6. No adulation
  7. Too much to do, not enough time

Correct Answer?

7, 132, 546 ….

This spring and summer my travel schedule sucked. When I first started the job 6 years ago, the schedule was out on the road 2 weeks, home 2 weeks. It was a great schedule for me. Last year they changed it to one week out, one week home. I hate, hate, hate that schedule. It means every weekend you are cleaning/packing to leave – or cleaning/unpacking upon return.

A continually delayed project launch played havoc with either travel scenario. February and March saw me traveling the one week out, one week home schedule. April I was home for 3 weeks. May, gone 1 week, home a week. June, home a week, gone a week, national seminar the following one week, a week of scheduling and then on the road for 42 days. Yep that’s right, I left July 23rd and retuned on September 8th. That about covers reasons 7, 1, and 4.

Where did I go? I started in Memphis, TN – then went to N. Mississippi. Back to TN. Then held a conference in Tunica, MS. On to Arkansas, Alabama, back to Arkansas, down to Florida, up to Georgia, back across Mississippi, down into Louisiana, one last stop in Arkansas and departed from Little Rock. Of course my schedule didn’t start out to be that convoluted. It started out leaving TN, dropping south into north Mississippi, crossing into Arkansas, traveling down through northern Louisiana, skimming southern Alabama, dropping into northwestern Florida (for 2 days of vacation), heading back into Alabama, crossing back through Mississippi and departing from Little Rock.

Somehow last year it was easy to travel and blog. This year? Not so much. It was high-stress traveling as I was dealing with the delayed product, which turned into a cancelled product – then into a limited release product. (Hence the ever changing travel schedule.) By the time I arrived at a hotel each night …. (did you get that, almost ALWAYS a different town/hotel each night) ….I was either; mentally worn out, tired and hungry, committed to dinner with a client/friend, working like mad to make sure all the data was set up for the next training session – or beta testing the product that doesn’t/didn’t work.

Despite that, there were some bright spots on the trip. On my way from Tennessee to Alabama I spent a weekend in Oxford, MS. I ate at the City Market on the old town square. It was a fabulous meal – plus I met a wonderful couple and their daughter who included me in their after dinner port consumption. The following morning I attended church at the Oxford University Methodist Church – and enjoyed the architecture, the sermon, and the Sunday School Class I was invited to attend.

Another stop found me honored to be one of the first visitors to a just purchased a hide-away retreat on Chicot Lake. Dinner from the Cow Pen, sitting on the deck and the newly installed dock with a glass of wine with old friends … who can complain?

The side-trip to Perdido Key was once again restful and restorative. My only disappointment was only cooking one meal and missing out on a trip to Joe Patti’s to purchase great seafood. We spent most of our time under an umbrella reading/snoozing.

During my one weekend in Georgia I visited the Pebble Hill Plantation and spent some quality time with clients who’ve turned into friends. We had a great steak dinner and home cooking Sunday after church.

Over a weekend in north Alabama I hung out with some more clients lazing about their pool on a Saturday afternoon and dining on teppanyaki that night. I also discovered another great restaurant. Café 113. There I had seared duck breast in a Chambord raspberry sauce and a lovely lemon sorbet to refresh my palate in between the salad course and main dish.

I was glad to return home. Lucky for me, I had someone staying in my house for 4 of the 6 weeks I was gone, so the spiders hadn’t overtaken too much of the place. Returning home brought several dinner party obligations, an office move, attending the symphony and the touring production of The Lion King.

Which just about catches us up to date, doesn’t it? Now we’ll see if I’m more consistent in the weeks to come.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Hey -- for me I can say I'm glad to have whatever communications you've got time for. Thanks.