So it is, after much deliberation, discussion, and doubt, that an eight-day business trip to the day job's global headquarters in New Jersey has been booked. This will be the first time I've left Japan since landing here almost 11 years ago, and it'll be yet another trip where I'm on a plane without Reiko1. This trip is something that I've struggled with internally for a couple of reasons, none of which seem to make sense to people when I try to enunciate them. Perhaps this means that the stuff in my head is utter nonsense. Perhaps this means that I'm just a poor communicator. Maybe it's a bit of both. Either way, there's no turning back now. Documents have been submitted. Forms approved. Money spent.
By all accounts, this trip is expected to be a really big deal by the participants. For the meetings and discussions I'll be a part of, we have five days to come up with the technical direction and strategy to implement the new business directions and goals while making extensive use of a new set of tools that — ideally — will give the company the flexibility it needs to be more responsive and more aligned with student and customer needs than ever before. Lofty goals for sure. The trick will be to devise a near-flawless execution of all the changes that will be necessary, while being careful to not alienate half the organisation along the way.
While I try to stay away from the whole corporate politics time sink, I can't help but wonder how many people will stand in the way of any decisions made during this week in the US simply because they were not invited to be part of the discussions.
On a more personal note, though, I've had reservations about this trip for a while because it's happening very close to the time when Reiko, the boy, Nozomi, and I are planning on moving into our new home. Construction will be completed while I'm on the other side of the planet or soon after, and this means that a lot of things need to happen between now and the time we're officially cleared to take possession of the house. Reiko has put in an incredible amount of work to ensure everything is being done efficiently and in a timely manner, but the eight days I'm gone will put a stop to a lot of productivity.
There's not much I can do about this, though, aside from ensuring that as many ducks are in a row as possible before and after the trip.
Fortunately, while I'm in the US, Reiko will bring our son and puppy to her parents' house. There she'll have the help she needs to look after everyone, while also being afforded a little bit of time with her parents. The boy will likely be spoiled like he hasn't been in a long time, and that's okay. Hopefully he'll not miss it too much after we return to our home to resume "normal life".
I think I worry too much about unknowns, and maybe not enough about things I consider routine. This trip will ultimately be a good thing for the career, allowing me to learn new skills while also solving very complex problems. I'll get to network with people who could open doors to other possibilities in the future and, even better, it will be easier to learn how some of my colleagues in other parts of the globe went about solving their own unique sets of problems. The more a person learns, the more questions they'll have, and the more answers they'll seek. I strongly feel that life is not worth living if there are no further questions to ask, so this is certainly a positive. I just hope that my family here is able to enjoy their week while I'm overseas, and I hope that I can return safely without any problems.
Alas, the mind is still clouded and foggy. I should stop writing ….
despite all the flying we had done early in our relationship, we've yet to fly on the same plane