Although the weather is never beautiful (seriously, who actually wants to live there?), the food was wonderful and overall it was a very successful trip. Not least of which because I read a thought/action provoking book on my flight out. I only made it through the first half (so expect more to come) but I am already in deep.
I like to use my travel time for things that I cannot do otherwise. Sometimes it is gloriously-ridiculous little things like napping with a cup of coffee in my hand (the fact that I have never spilled is proof I have a vigilant guardian angel). Sometimes it is more important things like education and self-reflection. Sitting quietly among strangers engulfed in white noise is like a deprivation chamber (or more accurately like the long hours I've spent in the pool swimming lap after lap, alone with my thoughts) providing the space and time to puzzle through my life.
Last December, I used the cumulative 18 hours out and back to Honolulu to process the entirety of my relationship with CaveBoy. Beginning. Middle. And end. And I spent a few hours on a recent flight home from Texas mulling over a particularly sticky friendship situation. Taking that time allowed me to give the right response (understanding) instead of my instinctive first response (fuck.off.) and my friendship is better for it (mostly in that it still exists).
On the Texas trip I also read a book about high achievers and how they accomplish so much more than everyone else on Earth. I haven't had a ton of time for professional development (I've instead been in fake-it-til-you-make-it mode, crashing down my mentors' doors when things got to be too much) so I was interested in what this book could offer. Unfortunately it wasn't as insightful as it could have been - the authors seemed to have rushed their theme development - but I did take away a few useful nuggets.
So I was hopeful but skeptical when I opened my next book. This one was about goal setting. But in a new way. Instead of developing actionable, measurable goals with deadlines (that then become yet another to do list), this book asks you to first determine how you want to feel and then set goals that will accomplish the desired feeling. I cannot wait to apply this strategy at work and at play! I told you, I am only halfway into it but I am into it.
That probably is surprising for anyone who has ever found themselves in my basement cubicle. I am highly critical when my colleagues "bring their feelings to work." But what I mean by that is they take things personally. I find that most work-based disagreements aren't personal. And the sooner people realize that and stop indulging their bruised egos, the sooner we can find a solution. And I am all about moving quickly to a solution.
The truth is, I bring all my feelings to work. Without that constant gut-check, how would I know if I am doing the right things? Without my empathy and humility, how could I build a productive team? Without my passionate excitement how could I find creative solutions to hard problems? How could I know who to trust? Or when it is time for me to leave?
Answering that last question is really why the Omaha trip was so successful (and the food, of course the food). I've been getting a ton of attention for some of my projects and people have started to ask what I am going to do next. And not just people people but important people with name plates on their office doors. And I started to panic that I should be working on setting up The Next Thing. But after some reflection it became clear that I still have a ton of passionate excitement for where those projects are going, and a few ideas for new projects to similarly birth in my basement cubicle. Which means there is no need to move on just yet.
I celebrated this realization with a bacon garnished bloody Mary.
|Hey! I arrived on a Sunday within reasonable|
brunch hours. This was totally legit.
And followed it up with a ribeye as big as my head once my partner arrived.
|Beer for scale.|
Both were delicious, but not enough to overcome the horrible weather (still never-ever going to live there). And still not as good as my homemade bloody Marys (although I will add a bacon twist to my garnish bar) or Kia's Frying Pan Steaks.
Frying Pan Steaks
|If you squint you can see it, buried under all that salad.|
And I was too hungry to remember to point the asparagus tops out - amateur move!
1 steak per person (I prefer ribeyes)
1 teaspoon olive oil per steak
Coat steaks with olive oil and season with steak seasoning on both sides. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Place steak into the hot pan. Sear both sides then cook until desired temperature. About 7 minutes per side for medium.