Traveling Salesman – BOOM, Not Anymore
Posted on October 13, 2020 by Bruce Thomason
Traveling is second nature to me. I am (was) on the road more than at home during any given year. Three weeks out of every month consist of flights, rental cars and lodging. You try to develop a routine with packing your stuff, favorite hotels, restaurants and airlines with the best flight offerings. You are on your own and time can fly by for the most part – evenings are not the best but I try to stay ahead on the workload, hit the gym (I really try, but they are closed) or find a local attraction in the area. I do enjoy the “traveling salesman life,” have met many wonderful people around the country and always remember that I signed up for this.
Then BOOM – you are suddenly grounded (6+ months now) and at home base full time. Wait…what? Do I have any say in this? Now do not get me wrong, I love being home with my wonderful wife and kids, but it has been a huge adjustment on the fly. My wife and I both work remotely so getting our schedules to sync has been interesting (she is a night owl and I prefer the early morning). We have learned to navigate around each other during the work days as we improve our efficiency with TEAMS Calls, Zoom and Skype.
With that said, we have been able to schedule walks together, quick yoga sessions and even lunch dates (PBJ sandwiches on the deck count as a lunch date). Planning weekly dinners have been a new occurrence within the household. We are trying new recipes that each of us come across. Our summer plans fell completely apart – no trip to Arizona, no family reunion and no beach vacation. Juggling the kids with school was trying at first – will this be for a few weeks, months or forever? That is still in the to be determined category as school has started back up – all are remote for now.
While all this family time has been a wonderful blessing – I still struggle on some days. I wake up cranky and frustrated. WHY? We are healthy, employed and have a roof over our heads. I think it goes back to our current situation that I cannot control because of this virus that is ravaging the world. The information/misinformation that has been disseminated pulls me in different directions. It depends on whom you listen to or watch, one day we are trending better and on the next channel, we are crashing again. It is a rollercoaster and has become the norm. We have written “BREATHE” on our dry erase board in the kitchen. We remind ourselves to keep focused, BREATHE and tell ourselves that we can do this.
So now what? What will the next 6 months be like or the next year? Many organizations are telling me “see you next year.” The road warrior salesman might have to become a hybrid, and I am alright with that. I am savvy enough to make that work, just give us a heads-up next time (actually no next time, please!). All things considered the transition has not been that bad, but it definitely has me on my toes. Thank goodness I was organized before this hit because I have lists everywhere as I manage two desks on my side of the office.
I came across this quote the other day: “Everyone overestimates what you can do in a day and underestimates what you can do over the course of months or a year.” This hit home with me as I looked back on some days and wondered what I accomplished that day, but then looking back over the last 6+ months since this hit, I see that I accomplished a lot both professionally and personally.
So if you are still with me after this ramble of the Traveling (now Hybrid) Salesman, remember that you are allowed to stumble, but continue to push through each day, give yourself a pat on the back and remember to BREATHE.