The benefits of a long commute

It is a week into May, and today I am back on the train, commuting into the city, which I have not done in forever. I miss it. I miss the time and space to be disconnected, yet somewhat connected to the others along the same journey, with their routines and habits, making the best of the time, or at least passing the time on their smart phones. This group will surely be the first species to revert back to Neanderthal, hunching over as we train our spines to more easily worship the phones that guide us. It is a beautiful day, clear and 60 degrees, with green popping out and new life all around. Even the robots with me on the train can’t complain too much.

I am headed in to have breakfast with my parents, who are in town for a high school reunion, certainly celebrating longevity and the memories from 65 years ago. Truly amazing, and they are lucky to be at those celebrations. I haven’t seen my mom since Christmas and it has been too long for sure. It has been easy to let the stresses of the first quarter take over my time, and push back the desire to check in, to visit, to share the time especially as age and its devious agents steal the usable time, replacing it with doctor visits and other reasons to stay close to home. That space across the country seems larger when we don’t take the time to cross it to do the things that really matter in our lives. I have fallen victim to putting work over family, and I am glad to change that balance today.

The long commute on the train in this morning gives me time to realize my misplaced priorities, and to also reflect on the good in my life. Oprah and Deepak reminded me to focus on the positive input in life and lessen the negative. This train ride gives me that time to adjust priorities.  

My commute these days is even longer sometimes as I fly to meet colleagues in Berlin, or Amsterdam, India, Chicago, Boston, or even Mexico. Working with others across the world is a god-send for me, as I get to understand what is important to others around the world, making much smaller what we see on the news each day, and what tweet is taking over now.

Last week we had our team from the US, from India, and from Germany meet in Berlin. It was the first time that we have all met face to face, as we normally meet over video. It was truly amazing and enlightening to get to know each other on a deeper, more intimate level. I wish that we had done this earlier, but in any case I am glad we did it. To know what drives each of us, what is important, where we have come from, where we are going, and how we might help each other along the way is wonderful. I am filled with positivity as my colleagues become brothers and sisters, each with different interests and perspectives, dreams and challenges. Our common journey is now my journey.

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