Christmas was wonderfully quiet and uneventful. I turned off all of my electronics and went off the grid for a couple of days. By yesterday however, I started to go through connectedness withdrawal as I thought about all the things I have to get done over the next few weeks.
I’m at home in St. Pete until Thursday when I fly back to Pennsylvania. I put myself on a 6am flight out of Tampa and I’ll arrive in Philly two and a half hours later. I loathe early morning flights and I’m not looking forward to being at the airport at 5am. But I’m committed to my job and equally committed to establishing myself in Pennsylvania so I’m doing what I need to do.
It snowed there yesterday and my Pennsylvania nieces filled up my in box with photos of their snowfall. It was pretty of course, but I grew up with snowy winters and I know that the pretty doesn’t last for very long. In fact, it was snowy winter avoidance that brought me to Florida in the first place. When I talked to my brother Steve yesterday he was waiting out the end of the snowfall in his living room. He was sprawled in front of a roaring fire and surrounded by a pack of German Shorthair Pointers. I’ll cling to that version of winter to get me through until May once I move back there for real in about a month. Big dogs and fireplaces make winter tolerable. Long underwear and wool sweaters help too. I’m ready for this, I’m really ready for this. If I keep repeating that it’ll become true, right?
Anyhow, I’ll be in my office in Pennsylvania for about a week before I leave for Cologne, Germany on the 12th. I’m part of Blog Tour again and we’re headed to IMM, one of the world’s premier design trade shows. After Cologne I’m headed to Amsterdam for a couple of days. I’ll be gawking and marveling at the wonders I see there of course, but I’ll also be working the whole time. It won’t be a vacation by any stretch of the imagination (although I have a half day at a natural hot spring spa between Cologne and Hamburg scheduled), and I can’t wait to be back on the other side of the Atlantic.
I know a ton of people who’ll be in Cologne too and it’s going to be great to reconnect with friends from the US, Canada, the UK and the EU. The only time I see most of these people is at trade events. At this point in my life and career, trade shows are how I reconnect with friends no matter where they call home. It’s one of my favorite developments of the last five years.
Back in the day; I’d go to a trade show, walk the show floor, see cool stuff and then go back to my hotel. Anymore, trade shows take on the air of a family reunion. I spend as much time catching up as I do looking at new stuff. Truth be told, I spend more time catching up in the press room and at after parties than I do walking around.
Anyhow, after I return from Europe I’ll spend a couple of days in the office before I fly back to Florida. By then, January will be just about gone. I’m coming back here to pack up my belongings in earnest, fill up a POD and then get myself to Pennsylvania for good. One of my nieces is getting married in the middle of all of this so I have to throw that in too. Elena’s wedding will be a welcome breather for a day or two.
As much as I look ahead to all of this moving around, I’m reminded of the amount of work I have to do at the same time and it gets pretty daunting. So I just break it down into smaller tasks. If I keep myself zeroed in on the day to day stuff, the big picture stuff doesn’t seem so insurmountable.
In the meantime, if anybody wants to come down here at the end of January to help me pack you’re more than welcome. Hah!