I’m riding along on the train. It is autumn. It is a rainy day. There is no staccato spattering of drops on windows to be heard; I only hear the train. There is no musical chiming of droplets on vent covers on the roof overhead. There is only the sound of the train, and the voice of the man across the aisle speaking softly on a phone call. It’s emotionally neutral content, and the delivery is flat, uninflected, and unenthusiastic without being terse, impatient, or bored. It sounds like work, but the conversational context makes it clear the person he is speaking to is an intimate – a partner? A close friend? His son? There’s a question regarding questions. A comment about an attorney. A brief review of revenue, debt, priorities, and upcoming planned events. It is the least interesting thing going on, as the train rolls along, but it is what I hear. There are autumn leaves beyond the windows. Fall-foliaged forests fill the view as the train rolls on.

Autumn view in motion

I think about work. I think about life. I think about ethical matters and personal choices. I find rail travel excellent for self-reflection. No connectivity; posting this will have to wait.

Still rolling along

I enjoyed the trip for work. It was not “perfect”, and I didn’t expect it would be; sleeping in strange places is sometimes hard for me, and I spent most of the trip in unmanageable pain. It was quite productive, and that exceeded my expectations sufficiently to make the entire trip very worthwhile. It was not particularly recreational; the cognitive work (and in the pain I was in) was sufficient to exhaust me each day. Even the good restful hours of sleep I managed to get weren’t much help with the pain; the bed and pillows were uncomfortable (for me). The chairs in the office were as uncomfortable as office chairs in the office generally are. (In spite of careful consideration of employee needs, somehow most businesses manage to fill their spaces with uncomfortable seating, however much they spend on chairs.) At least, for sure the chairs are uncomfortable for me. To be brief? I got a lot done, and I hurt, and I’m eager to get back home to my Traveling Partner’s loving arms, charming smile, and a comfortable bed. 🙂

…Suddenly, I feel the fatigue of 4 nights of poor quality sleep. I glance at the time and fret for just a moment about making the drive home from the city; an interruption in rail service delayed the journey about 2 hours… I expected (and planned) to be home much earlier than I will be. I reflexively remind myself to drive safely…

…The weekend is almost here. The thought refreshes me for a moment…but real sleep, at home, sounds so good right now.

Checking my location on Maps, I amuse myself clicking on “directions” and find that it has a very accurate notion of where I am, and even suggests that – were I able to do so – taking the next train would get me there in about 2 hours 45 minutes. Pretty close to the estimate provided by the train operator, actually. I am grateful that I’m already on this train and not waiting on the next one. 😀

My meandering thoughts lead me to consider social media, and by the end of my musings, I’ve made the decision to shut down Instagram. My last social media account. Oh, I may not delete it, but I’ll empty it out, lock it down, update privacy and security to maximum strictness, and delete the app from my devices, for sure. I plan to do so on the last day of the year. I’m “over it”. 🙂 Getting rid of Facebook has been helpfully pleasant and a massive reduction in stress day-to-day. Yes, it has complicated staying in touch with far away friends – but it wasn’t easy (for me) before social media, and doesn’t take any more effort now than it would have taken then. I just have to make that effort. That’s on me. It would be nice to have a better option, but in the meantime, I’ll just have to use email and text. Time to get to work making sure my contacts and all their details are up to date.

So much to see along the journey.

The train joggles along roughly. Feels like “turbulence” on a plane. This complicates typing rather a lot. I guess I’ll set this aside for now. Later, I’ll begin again.