I don’t like to leave the shop. My wife is convinced I’d live there if I could, and I’m not sure she’s altogether wrong. In fact, with the number of hours I spend at the shop and/or the number of hours I spend just thinking about being there, my guess is she’s convinced I’ve already moved in — mentally, if not physically.
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I’ve thought about it a lot and I’m certain the discomfort I experience when I’m away from the shop isn’t grounded in any lack of trust I might have in the people I have surrounded myself with. That may have been the origin of the strain and anxiety I experienced while away from the shop in the past, but it isn’t the reason for my discomfort today.
I’m uncomfortable when I’m away from the shop because, quite frankly, there aren’t many other places I’d rather be. There aren’t many places I feel as comfortable either, especially now.
I say, “especially now,” because it’s taken a while to get here. It’s taken a while and a lot of hard work to have more things going right than wrong…or, at least, to feel as if that’s the case.
That’s a lot to think about when you’ve been out of the shop for eight days (out of town, cross-country for 10). It’s a lot to think about when seven of those 10 days have been spent with hundreds, actually more than a thousand, other shop owners at two meetings focused on a more successful future for us and for our industry.
That is a lot to think about, but I’m not sure there is anything more important with which to occupy our time or our minds. The question has to be why participating in industry events like these is so important. If they have the potential to enrich our lives both personally and professional in such powerful and profound ways, why there aren’t more of us doing it?
I wish I had the answer.