August 26, 2004

When did I lose sight of the leaves for the forest?

This summer, I have been traveling extensively for work. Big Al has sent me to some cool spots like Dallas, Minneapolis, and Denver. He also banished me in some not-so-hip places that I won’t mention for fear of offending. Regardless, I have gotten to enjoy very few of these places because this project is very hectic and fast-paced. Often, we lug our weary souls back to the hotel and plop in bed after a hurried bite to eat late at night. There hasn’t been much time for fun.

Currently, I am in downtown Cleveland and the project has gone spectacularly – we are even done early and it’s only Thursday. For once, I have gotten back to my hotel in time not only for dinner and the Amazing Race on Tuesday, but also for leisurely activities. I decided this week to go wogging** around downtown Cleveland. My initial goal was exercise, but I quickly found myself exploring quite a distance away from my hotel. Downtown Cleveland is beautiful with a nice mix of old architecture, quaint churches, and new-fangled buildings. Tuesday, I went to the Brown’s stadium near the lake and then to the theater district – Cleveland’s fair attempt at mimicking Broadway. I went to the lake again last night in a different area and saw a surreal sight of sailboats, commercial ships, trains, and a lighthouse – all with the setting sun as a backdrop. Weaving my way through the Warehouse District with its massive brick warehouses, I couldn’t help but feel the history of an area that must have been a bustling commercial center in its heyday (I also couldn’t help reflecting on life before JIT inventorying methods – hey, I am an accountant after all). Anyway, now it is a trendy tourist spot replete with luxury condos, stylish stores, cool bars, and of course, the usual denizen, Starbucks – a must-have for any posh neighborhood.

As I trekked my way through the streets back to my hotel with the cool lake breeze wafting in, I couldn’t help but notice how I don’t take the time to do this in my own city or neighborhood. I work in a metropolitan city and live in a suburb so my usual commute includes a few interstate highways with a 2 block stroll at the end. I very rarely take the time to walk anywhere and just enjoy BEING. I have let myself get confined to the usual path of most adults and have forgotten the Big Picture. That worries me and I really have no one to blame but myself. I think after all this business traveling ends I am going to take more walks and explore my own city for once. After all, it’s the end of the summer and the leaves won’t be around for long.

**wogging = walk a block. jog a block

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