Saturday, January 28, 2012

I'm Not Bitching...

For the past several weeks, I've been held captive by my job and the industry that surrounds it. Five weeks and five trade shows, accompanied by a half dozen sales meetings, and seemingly endless road travel to follow in two days. It's overwhelming. It's exhausting. But I'm not bitching. I've been instructed not to bitch anymore. It's cool. (It's not cool.)

I have seen the same faces--some I know, some I don't, none do I care about. I've shaken enough hands to get carpal tunnel, and my painted-on smile is starting to fade. Sore face...not bitching.

At these Outdoor Industry shindigs, you can tell the big shots from a mile away. They all look the same--dark, fitted jeans...expensive, dark button-up shirt...dark-rimmed glassed...and a smug, "I'm extremely rich and important" look in their beady eyes. Then there's the contrast of the snowboarders, climbers, and other dirtbags. It's like they all called each other to see what everyone was wearing. Funny thing is, they all think they're original.

Please note: I'm not bitching, I'm observing and relaying.

I have literally had everything that encompasses my industry and profession crammed down my throat lately. The warm fuzzy that you get when spending your time outside climbing or hiking or skiing is absent from this frenzy--in fact it couldn't be farther away. To me, it actually takes away from the outdoor things I love because it's forced on me every waking moment. It's not a gripe, it's fact. And it's what I signed up for, I'm afraid.

How does this coincide with "The Art of Doing"?

Because although I'm right in the thick of it again today (currently at the makeshift food court at the Snowsports Industry Association show in Denver), last night I was able to escape it.

I snuck out of the show early yesterday evening, and April and I drove up to the mountains to see a remarkable concert. It was at Mishawaka, an absolute perfect mountain venue for an intimate, mid-winter acoustic set by Robert Ellis and followed by Hayes Carll. Fantastic music, cold beer, a crackling fire, (this show was NOT at the amphitheater outdoors...thank God). There was no mention of Outdoor Industry business. There were no company big shots in their dark, fitted garb and rimmed glasses. No lineup of identical looking snowboarders. Just a 'come as you are' vibe with everyone from tight-shirt-pectoral-man to creepy mountain family. But it was all cool.

My escape was a much needed pitstop. It refueled me. I actually woke up this morning in a good, stress-free mood. That, in itself, really puts things in perspective for me. I won't get into that, though. It's a whole other post.

Moral of the story: We all have to do shit that makes us a little unhappy. Let's just try and keep that to a minimum and fill in the gaps with shit that makes us happy. Sounds like a pretty simple formula.