May travel

Today’s the 5th of May.  I’m in the Atlanta airport, international concourse, Delta Sky Club.  I’m sitting in my favorite type of chair, a very odd-ball chair whose ‘arms’ stretch above my head.  It offers a little cocoon of privacy on three sides and is pretty comfortable as well.

The last 3 weeks in the states have been a little bit of a blur as I look back on it.  I don’t know if it is just my current state of pre-flight sleepiness or if the time was just so busy that I can’t keep up with it.  As I work backwards in my mind I only catch snippets from the weekends prior.  I know that this past weekend was the highlight of the stay, with Olivia visiting Nashville, she and I getting tons of quality time together.  The weekend before that was my sister’s birthday and more time with Olivia.  Before that I was at home in Nashville, recovering from the long trip to Tokyo with friends.  I know that I didn’t take any time to do any exercise, which I’m a bit disappointed about.

Looking forward at the next 3-ish weeks, I’m not entirely sure what they hold.  I’m still working on the big project for my the Tokyo office I was first assigned to 3 years ago.  (Coincidentally, I moved to Tokyo 3 years ago this month!)  That project (web application deployment) is quickly transforming into their next big project (data center move) and I expect to spend time getting that started.  They are also undergoing personnel changes, with the person I hired as my replacement exiting the organization.  The manager covering that gap, unfortunately, is out of the country handling some personal matters.  This places me in the very interesting position of ‘covering the gap’ as all these changes take place.  I wonder about how this may turn out in the end… and I’ll leave it at that.  It’s nothing terrible or scandalous, I just don’t care to go into it.  Basically I just wonder if this is going to turn into a longer engagement with Japan in general.

Looking farther afield, my schedule for the coming 2 months is extremely challenging.  I’m in Tokyo for just shy of 3 weeks, then I fly back for a wedding in Indiana.  I’m in Nashville for 1.5 weekends, then I’m off – to somewhere – for another 3 weeks.  I land in Nashville, spend barely 48 hours there before I’m back on a plane headed to the beach.  Luckily I’ve been told that the beach trip should be a pretty significant disconnect from fast-pace situations, with plenty of time in a hammock with a drink.  Once I’ve recharged, it’s back to Nashville where, a week later, Olivia will be coming up to spend 2 weeks.  She has summer camp during those 2 weeks, one of which should be timed to be with her best friend Shaw.

With 45 minutes left before the boarding begins, as snippets of Japanese float through the club, I think about the last weekend.  I had the opportunity to visit Olivia at school on Friday and take her home early.  Through an interesting twist of events, I also took her all the way back to Chattanooga on Sunday, giving us a chance to say goodbye somewhere other than the Wendy’s parking lot!  She was an amazingly well-behaved, loving young lady all weekend long and I’m so happy to see her grow.  She was so excited about her new desk and storage furniture.  In the car ride up she wrote a note to her mom and I got to share some of my letter-writing accessories like the wax seal when we went to mail it out.  She was inspired to write little notes to all of her friends that we got to spend time with on Sunday.  It’s so amazing to see all of her energy being channeled in some many directions.

She has so many aspirations for her energy – she wants to continue in gymnastics.  She still enjoys the idea of ballet, even as she doesn’t find the class isn’t very exciting.  She wants to be a martial artist and when I showed her Bruce Lee, she was mesmerized.   She wants to ride / own a horse.  She is interested in basketball and soccer, with goal tending as a potential position.  She deeply enjoys art and writing, excelling at both.  I’m so proud of her and I can’t wait to see where she goes with all these opportunities.

I suppose I’ll close my rambling now.  I’ll try to write again in Tokyo.  To all my friends in the states, I’ll miss you (honestly, Facebook gets really quiet when all of you go to bed).  To those in Tokyo – I’m on my way!

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