Wednesday, June 25, 2008

On the Road

I hate going out of town for work. But that’s not exactly right. There’re certainly things to enjoy about the travel, and to some degree I do, but I feel too guilty to fully enjoy them. This is the conflicted world I live in inside my head.

I hate packing, making sure to leave out all liquids if I’m not checking bags, then dealing with the lines at the airport. On the other hand, I can enjoy sitting back listening to my iPod and reading while waiting to board the plane, and doing pretty much the same once on the plane. Then I wind up feeling guilty that I didn’t pull out my laptop and work, or write a blog entry, or something more productive than reading. (By the way, if I don’t read I find myself wishing I’d read more because there’s so many things I want to read that I should make sure I do so every chance I get).

I hate leaving because I don’t want to leave Charlise with the burden of doing everything on her own. Yet when she goes out of town I don’t mind that burden, and she’s probably more capable than I am of handling it. But I still feel a bit guilty about it. (Even more so this time because the house is in the midst of being painted, making everything three or four or a jillion times more chaotic than it already is.)

I hate leaving because I’ll miss the family. But I don’t travel that much, so it’s not really a big deal. Still, on those rare occasions when I go I feel guilty for leaving my family.

These things are all ok to feel, but why can’t I cut myself a break? Enjoy the travel, try to make sure I do at least one thing that makes the trip more fun, whether it’s researching a landmark and going to see it or something even more basic like going jogging or finding a coffee shop where I can sit, listen to music, sip a drink, and watch the people. (I’d talk to the people, but I don’t like people enough to do that. Or, to make it sound better, I could just say I see little value in idle chit chat. I’m not going to meet a new friend when I can’t even keep up with my close friends now, and I think it’s very unlikely that we’ll find any topic of great common interest that’ll really engage us and much more likely that we’ll end up spouting inane comments about nothing.)

So here’s what I’m going to do about it. I’m going to follow my advice and cut myself a break. I don’t think I’ll have time to see a landmark or do much else in this 36 hour trip, but I’ll do something, whether it’s finding a place to have breakfast (or just coffee), or a good jogging trail to run early in the morning.