On Visiting

After arriving in Columbus, I quickly realize several things about coming for a visit:

  1. Friends are more important than errands–scheduling tasks from getting my iPad fixed to getting my hair done leaves little time to see friends in the few waking hours left after work.
  2. Co-workers are more important than errands–missing happy hour with colleagues in favor of appointments wastes a rare opportunity to socialize with people I enjoy.
  3. Making a list of everyone I want to see and scheduling time with them before I leave and before I schedule any kind of mundane task should help make time to see everyone next trip.
  4. Spending time with people I care about is important because I don’t know how long it will be before I get to see them again, even if I just saw them 2 weeks ago.
  5. Having a mobile broadband connection that works makes like easier.
  6. When I pack, I need to count carefully and not get distracted in the middle of packing.

These lessons were, of course, learned the hard way.  Thinking I could take care of tasks in Columbus more easily than in Chattanooga because I knew where to go caused me to pack my schedule with stuff I really would have preferred not to do.  I missed out on the opportunity to spend time with people.  We ended up with only 3 evenings that we could schedule anything and one of them was shared with a 2-hour hair appointment, making for a late evening on a work night.  I mentally go through a list of the people we didn’t get to see and groan inwardly.

On the plus side, staying with friends worked out well–at least for us.  Sharing a cup of coffee in the wee hours of the morning with my fellow insomniac made a great way to start the day (although I suppose we both would have liked an extra hour or two of sleep).  And our schedules were offset just enough that we got to spend some quality time together without getting in each other’s way (I hope).

Driving was interesting.  I didn’t think about having only one car to share with Pat while in Columbus.  As it turned out, he did all the driving until we were on our way home again, so I went almost 3 weeks before I got behind the wheel again.  Not having a car also made it difficult to arrange time with friends at lunch.  I managed to have lunch with work friends, but missed the chance to get together with a friend who I could have seen if I’d had a car to meet her for lunch.

We left for Columbus on a Sunday with Pat doing the driving so I could get caught up on some work.  Unfortunately, my work laptop refused to play nicely with our USB broadband device and we found ourselves wardriving for a WiFi network so I could get a document emailed that needed to be in Hong Kong in time for the start of their Monday morning.  Worried that I would forget to send it when we got to Columbus, I wanted to make sure it went out while I was thinking about it.  Fortunately, McDonald’s now offers free WiFi, accessible from their parking lot.  But driving around looking for internet access does not make for an efficient car trip.

As for getting distracted while packing, once we are in Columbus, I discovered why my suitcase looked so empty.  I’d stopped packing before I’d finished gathering together everything I needed for working out (especially my workout bag) and I’d mis-counted the number of days I needed work clothes.  With no workout bag, I ended up packing my change of work clothes for after my workout into my laptop bag, which caused me to forget my lovely heels.  I ended up having to wear my fivefingers shoes all day the first day I went to the gym.  If you’ve never seen fivefingers shoes, check them out.  While they are the best shoes I’ve ever worked out in, they aren’t exactly complementary to work attire.  I comforted myself that not that many people would see me in my silly shoes, but, of course, we have a firedrill at the office that day and I ended up in the parking lot along with the entire population of our building.  As I walk across the parking lot, I count the number of times I hear, “Nice shoes!”  Oh well.

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