I did not set foot on an airplane from mid-March, 2011, to mid-April, 2012. It wasn’t that I never left town during that 13 month period — I had several business trips to New York and Washington DC — but I always took trains. It was a strange streak, which has now ended rather abruptly as I find myself increasingly well-acquainted with the Philadelphia International Airport.
Anyway, this rash of travel has inspired a few CBS MoneyWatch posts. One of my favorites from this week is “4 secrets to staying happy on the road.” What veteran road warriors know is that business trips can present luxurious opportunities for me-time if you use them right. You can get up early and go run or walk without having to negotiate who’s getting up with the kids (or dealing with a partner’s expectation that you’ll have breakfast with him/her). Yes, you often have evening activities planned (team dinners or drinks with a client) but sometimes you can sneak away and read a book. And then go to bed nice and early. Or even watch TV! When I was in Chicago recently, I turned on the TV between a conference session and dinner, and watched some show on HGTV about first time home buyers. It was the first time I’d watched non-TiVo’d TV since I’d been in the hospital having Ruth (and then it was Steve Jobs around the clock, since he’d passed away that day). I got a great anecdote out of that show. Namely, both young women who were buying their first homes looked at homes that cost far less than the mortgage amounts banks approved them for. It showed my frequent point that overspending on housing leaves you with less cash for other things. One woman said this specifically: she wanted to keep going out with friends, shopping, etc. A cheap mortgage (in relation to her income) let her do that. Very refreshing. I’ve now mentioned that anecdote on a few radio interviews.
I’ll be traveling next week for a project. While I’ll have my computer with me and have several assignments that need to get done, one of the things I’m looking forward to is having time to think. Hopefully I’ll come back with some deep thoughts about my career and what I want to be when I grow up. (I talk a little bit about finding one’s passion in another post from this week: “How do you find your career passion?“) What’s my next big project? I don’t know, but I hope to have some ideas!
In other news:
* Oil and Garlic is in the midst of reading All the Money in the World, and (mostly) enjoying it.
* My friend Naomi Schaefer Riley seems to have gotten fired from the Chronicle of Higher Education over a blog post critical of a few dissertations in the field of African American studies. She writes her side of the story in this post for the Wall Street Journal.
* Cali Williams Yost writes a moving tribute to her mother for Mother’s Day, called “I Dare to Dream, Because My Mother Couldn’t.” The most striking image to me is of young Cali bringing her mother peanut butter sandwiches as her mother typed academic papers late at night. She was going back to school after finding herself divorced, with three daughters to raise, at age 35, with no work history. She told Cali, “Promise me you’ll never be in this position. Figure out what you want to do professionally, and make sure you like it enough to not hate leaving your children every day.” Excellent advice.
* Time magazine takes on attachment parenting this week, by showing a young mother breastfeeding her 3-year-old on the cover. People are a little shocked, and I’m sure that’s what Time was going for, though I’m all in favor of normalizing public breastfeeding. My baby doesn’t like to eat with a blanket over her head and frankly, neither would I.