Those exhausting social events

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The past two weeks were exhausting for me. Too much output, not enough recharge.

First I had a trip to DC to work on a project with a group of people who have never met each other before. The weather was in the upper 90’s with high humidity. Keeping in mind I live in Montana, it sucked.

I was the only person who was familiar with DC, so I became the appointed travel guide.

Awesome.

The week wasn’t actually too bad since the rain kept people somewhat close to the airport. Plus I used the “jet lag” excuse to get back early.

Saturday we went to a wedding so we didn’t get home until late, and then Monday morning I was back on a plane. This time heading to Dallas.

More heat.

A lot more energy.

This was with our region. Except for management, most of the people haven’t met each other in person, so this was a big deal.

So big that every single night after our meetings there were social events planned.

EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

And being management, I was expected to be there.

Sometimes in life you just have to bite the bullet and do things that are not comfortable.

The first night we all got in was a get together at the hotel bar.

I’m not much of a drinker. Especially when it involves work. Not only was my boss there, but so were my employees. Just not an environment I like to put myself in.

Unfortunately within minutes I had three beers sitting in front of me.

Great.

The next night’s event was a Texas Rangers game. I am a big baseball fan, but I was not looking forward to being in a group in the 100 degree heat. When I go to a baseball game, I am there to watch the game.

I was the only one wanting to watch the game apparently.

The next night was dinner at a fancy steakhouse. Me traveling to another state for steak is like me traveling to another state to look at the mountains. Just doesn’t make much sense…but I sucked it up and had an overpriced steak which I could have cooked better on one of my grills.

Oh well. Only one night left.

This was the worst.

For one, I was on my last leg. I didn’t feel very well and was totally exhausted from not having been able to recharge at all.

The last night was bar food and karaoke.

Yeah, karaoke.

No, I didn’t participate.

Yes, I was asked…and asked…and asked.

Anyway, I am finally back home. I got some fishing in over the weekend which helped refresh myself a bit. I am taking two four day weekends off…so that should help too. My son had his first pitch baseball game last night and got his first hit of the season. That was awesome.

Aerosmith still hasn’t contacted me.

Odd.

Introverted “Alone”, or REALLY Alone

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Plenty of “experts” will tell us introverts that we recharge by being alone. I refuse to disagree with that assessment because it is exactly how I recharge.

Sometimes I will stay up late at night just to be awake without the family “noise”. Even if it means I am super tired the next day at work.

Lately, however, I have really become fascinated, if not addicted, to movies, books, articles, stories, about being alone for more than just a few hours. For example, the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed. While she did the Pacific Coast Trail, I have read a ton of books about the Appalachian Trail. I want to attempt that Trail so bad sometimes I dream about it.

But I could never leave my job for that period of time.

Plus it would be hard for me to leave my family…but it’s sad to say that it’s really the job that holds me back.

I have even mapped out different routes to walk across the country instead.

But that trip faces the same obstacles.

Castaway was on the television yesterday. I’ve seen it dozens of times, but I still stop to watch it. Or at least some of it.

There is a little part of me (maybe more than a little) that thinks I could survive.

As long as I didn’t have to deal with the plane crash.

Or the fish (can’t stand seafood).

Or the bad tooth.

But for all the easy stuff like not talking to anyone except a volleyball and growing a long beard…well, I guess that was really the only easy stuff…I could totally nail.

The book The Road by Cormac McCarthy has also fascinated me. Not just his book, but many that are of that same post-apocalyptic genre. Just a guy trying to take care of his family without all of the modern conveniences that we have grown accustomed too.

Well, there is also a lot of bad people in those books, and that would suck, but it’s the lack of people and sense of urgency and purpose that I seem to attach too.

Wool by Hugh Howey is like this too. When I read Wool, I immediately started reading all of his books. He has a way of tickling my introverted side where there are less people to deal with, and a set order for everyone to follow for survival.

Maybe it’s just a mid-life crisis entering my system, but I am really craving that long period of nothingness. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would immediately start planning to try to hike the Appalachian Trail next year.

And probably write a book about it.

With that said, no one from Aerosmith has contacted me about my offer. I guess it’s not much of an offer on my part, so I should say that no one from Aerosmith has contacted me about THEIR offer that I suggested.

Sigh.

Surviving the Elevator…my overanalyzed view as an #Introvert

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“Jacki’s in the elevator

Lingerie second floor

She said can I see you later

And love you just a little more?” – Love in an Elevator, Aerosmith

First off, Aerosmith is by far the bucket list concert I would go to. I’m not good in crowds, and to be honest, I really don’t enjoy concerts all that much, so I rarely go. I bet I haven’t been to more than five in my lifetime.

But for Aerosmith, without a doubt.

With that said, elevators are an interesting environment, and not just for us introverts. Somewhere along our history the utilization of an elevator has established a sort of community norms.

A building I used to work in had two elevators next to each other. There was probably a 30 foot walk to get to it from the front doors. The moment I walked in the doors and could see the elevator, certain guidelines began.

First off, decisions needed to immediately be made if there was already someone waiting at the elevator.

Do I want to ride with that person?

If not, I needed to make the quick decision to turn and take the stairs. I’m too lazy so that rarely happened.

That decision is followed by the anxious walk to the elevator. If it opens while I am still at the end of the hall, I need to either walk quicker or fake a phone call so I can stop and let them go. Otherwise there is the judging look from the person in front as they hold the door open.

If it hasn’t opened yet by the time I get there, I have to resist the urge to push the button, even though I see it is already lit.

Never fails, when there is a group waiting for the elevator, there is always the person that walks up and pushes the button anyway. Like we were all standing around waiting for someone to show us what to do. This is sort of like the jungle gorilla who is testing the Alpha for control.

Once we all mindlessly enter the elevator, it’s the common duty of the person next to the buttons to be the official button pusher. That’s just how it works.

Unless you are the gorilla. No matter where this person stands, he/she feels the need to reach through everyone to select the desired floor. Next time you are in a group, watch the gorilla work. And it’s even a better viewing opportunity if the button the gorilla wants to push is already lit. The gorilla will either still push it, or will have a jerky arm motion while trying to decide what to do.

By now the elevator is moving. People are either staring down at the phones which are probably not getting any reception, staring at the floor, or having a conversation with someone too loud.

Once the door opens for the first stop, confusion reigns.

People next to the door can’t figure out how to let the people behind them out. People in the back can’t figure out how to get by anyone.

And if there are people getting on, total chaos.

It seems like it would be extremely easy to figure out. Stand to the side, let people out. If you are getting on, let the people out first, then enter.

But much like the person on the plane who stored their carry-on luggage ten rows behind where they are sitting, they feel the need to move first and create a log jam. Or that person in the grocery store who parks their cart on one side of the small aisle and then stands on the other so no one can get through as they examine every brand of creamed corn to figure out which one they want.

One would think it would only take that one stop for everyone to figure out what to do.

But no.

Something about the doors closing erases everyone’s mind. Or, at a minimum it erases everyone’s common sense.

Buttons are pushed which are already lit, fake conversation start back up, that creepy guy stands too close.

I stand there judging…cause it’s what I do.

I like to call it “people watching”, but the older I get the more I realize I’m just judging.

“There’s somethin’ wrong with the world today

The lightbulb’s gettin’ dim

There’s meltdown in the sky.” – Livin’ on the Edge, Aerosmith

Yep, Aerosmith again.

Did I mention they are my bucket list concert? Cause they are.

On the unbelievable off chance that someone with any authority with Aerosmith happens to read this…and they are getting ready to have a meeting about finding someone who REALLY wants to see their concert…and they are thinking, “We should find someone and fly them to one of our concerts.” …look no further.

To be clear, my answer is yes.

Ok, more like HELL YES.

If needed, I can change HELL to some other four letter words if it makes the difference.