I travel a lot, and stay in many hotel rooms along the way. My primary request when staying anywhere is to get a quiet room. That means rooms that aren’t next to the elevators, the ice machine or in high traffic areas. Ideally I won’t have a door that connects to another room. So it’s disappointing when I get a neighbor who shouts profanities and talks to himself insanely in the room next to mine. Last night was one of those nights, which meant I was considering wearing earplugs to sleep. If I’ve learned anything from years of travel, it’s to be prepared for just about anything. Insane people who talk to themselves are one of those life experiences I try to avoid, but sometimes you find yourself with just two thin doors between you and the crazy train. Luckily he quieted down and I slept peacefully (after confirming the door was bolted anyway).
This morning I’m walking the loop around the hotel with three days of information and thousands of calories to digest. Morning walks help with both, and information transforms into checklists of things to do, areas to improve upon, people to meet with, things to learn more about and timelines to do it all. I normally follow the GTD process of writing things down to get them out of your head, but not having a notepad on the walk the jumble of thoughts become keywords to trigger memories instead. I’ll write it down later… knowing I need to do it before those words become a puzzle of my own mind. It reminded me of the wild rambling profanity of the guy next door. Maybe he just needed to get things out of his own head too. He does it his way, I do it mine. Just a thin door separating two approaches to sorting life’s complexities.
One of the themes of my week has been walking the thin line between order and chaos. Exemplified by the yin and yang symbol, it’s the curving line between the black and white symbols that make up the whole. We all dip into both sides, but aim to dance along that line if possible. My hotel neighbor seemed to be a bit too far into chaos last night, while I was dancing the line pretty well this morning after my walk. We all trip now and then. Just get up, brush yourself off, get back on the line and keep dancing.