Friday, November 2, 2007

Blurred Lines and Sunny Days...

Ah, Seattle this time of year is absolutely beautiful - I think two of the five days this week have been greeted by a bright orange sun, and just a light misty fog that burns off as the days creep up into the mid-fifties. Mt. Rainier was visible for miles this morning - and you don't realize how big the damn thing is until it fills your windshield as you drive into SeaTac.

With that being said, I struggled with the title a little bit for this blog, this is somewhat my personal journal, and although I post for the world to see, there is always stuff that I throw out that is better kept to myself - I guess who really cares - I see thousands of folks everyday, and no one really knows who they are, as long as they don't interfere with their lives, meals, families, and paychecks. It is interesting to see these dynamics in play - but I will save that for another blog when my head is less full of other items.

Blurred lines - I think every traveller has this happen to them once or twice along their long careers on the road - literally and metaphorically. We all have things that create blurred lines - the six pack of Coors light with co-workers before you stupidly decide that it's okay to drive home, or the relationships you develop with friends in your new cities. I guess the blurred lines is not so much a discussion about the opposite sex, but about all co-workers that you spend an immense amount of time on the road with. What is amazing is that the people that you visit get the beauty of spending more time with you than your family does - granted it may not be quality family time, and much of it is spent working, but they become a surrogate family for all of us. I have not found an effective way from separating myself from worrying about their kids, pets, personal problems, and careers - even though, in all reality, perhaps the only thing I should worry about is the job we all have to do.

I find myself calling my best friends, two guys who will remain phone numbers in my cellular, to discuss the weighty problems of life just as much as I call my wife - it is odd, but their advice is appreciated, and we have no secrets to hide from one another - we see each other twice a year, but we all know where the other is, and what their struggles might be, or share the joys with each other as well. They started out as co-workers, and now, they are certainly my best friends. I know (as well as them knowing) that the door is always open - generally you may not like what you see when you get there, but you know that there is always a place to rest, and always someone to talk with.

I think certain folks have the ability to personally separate themselves from what they do, and who they are - but for us 92% transients - it is more difficult - you pour yourself into what you do that it becomes a major part of who you are - and somehow gets mixed in as fruit into your oatmeal bowl of life (that is a pretty picture, but hell, I am rushing to catch my plane, and that is the best I could do....) - I spend nights eating dinners with women, men, co-workers, hotel guests, clients - and what each of them senses is that I am genuinely interested in each of them - they are my family - albeit temporary and substitutes for the real thing, they are the healthy distraction that keeps us all sane on the road.

In closing, I guess the best thing I can say is that blurred lines are good for the traveller - we need to blur those lines between work and personal at times, and sometimes throw the politically correct sterile treatment out the window. Making friends and being concerned is a true part of staying sane - and I think for each of us, we all need to hear a friendly voice through something other than a telephone receiver every now and again.

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