Have Funds, Will Travel

by on May.30, 2010, under career, family, money, technology

I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten into a habit of writing nothing but book reviews lately.  That is mostly because I’ve been doing little else but reading in my spare time.  I’m sure there may have been other things to write about in the meantime, but a lot of that writing time I’ve been, well, reading.  So today I will break that trend (and then tomorrow I’ll likely write another book review).

It seems that June is going to be a stressful month in many ways – some positive, some negative, and most of it stemming from a confluence of just a couple of events.  My company is sending me to two conferences that take me in opposite parts of the country.  Also my wife will be managing a farmers’ market launch and juggling a few photo shoots including a wedding.

I’m both excited and nervous about the conferences.  While they will be fun and positive experiences and allow me to see some new sites (one is in SF, the other in NYC), and it is great that the company is willing to pay my way (it seems the worst of the effects of the recent economic downturn have passed – at least for us), but it is a long time to be away from my family and it is a lot of money to spend in a short amount of time between food and lodging.  I don’t envy my wife’s role in this – a 3-year-old and 6 year-old all day every day for 2 weeks without reprieve is a test of anyone’s patience.

Additionally, the second conference will bring the added pleasure of traveling, rooming, and spending most of my time with a colleague who has a rare talent of pushing my buttons (he knows it too).  Professionally, I can respect his talent and appreciate his contributions.  But personally, he can drive me crazy sometimes.  I’d be remiss to say that his affect on me hasn’t had an upside – his insistence on challenging my ideas has drawn me to rethink some and become more confident in others.  And I’d like to think that I’ve helped steer him towards being an improved version of himself (you can never be sure how much is your influence and how much will stick).  But while we’d learned to worked well together, lately we’ve been pushing each other’s buttons more than we intend to and I worry that this conference could bring the straw that breaks one of our backs.  Most likely he will push my buttons, but I’ll roll with it, stew over some of it for a few days after, and then flow back into our regular routine.

Anyway, two weeks of conferences with travel should be fun.  But I know that tensions from my absence from family and/or work will build up.  I’ll likely have to work on both while I’m away.  Still looking forward to it, though.  I just have to remember to pick up some books to read on the planes.

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