There’s so much more I have left to write about Hutchinson and Pretty Prairie and the Wolcott House, and I will, but as my first day home waxed and waned I kept thinking about a conversation Joanna and I had yesterday as we were driving back to Chicago. She asked me what I would take home from this trip. After ruminating for a moment, I realized it was perspective.
I don’t think anyone would doubt that I love running The Local Tourist. My tag line may be a tongue-in-cheek “I tell people where to go”, but the truth is my job is to help people have fun. Despite sounding frivolous, it’s a pretty noble cause. More fun = more smiles = more kindness = better quality of life for everyone.
That, to me, is a great responsibility and it’s something I take seriously. Sometimes, especially lately, too seriously.
I have been a tightly-wound bundle of nerves for…days? Weeks? Years? At this moment I have over 1400 unread emails. Mind you, I cleaned them out while I was gone. And I still have over 1400. Spam has been culled. Newsletters I’ll never read have been deleted. Potential blog post ideas have been noted and archived. Those remaining 1400+ emails are from people wanting me to respond or do something with the information they’ve sent to me. And that’s not even counting the additional 700+ in Facebook.
But you know what? I left for eight days. I set up an auto-responder that said basically “hey, I’m out of town, but if what you really want is to have your event/business/special on The Local Tourist, here’s how you can add it.” And the world didn’t end and people added their events and businesses and specials and I spent some very special time with people I truly love.
I didn’t go to numerous events over the last eight days. I asked some trusted friends to attend in my place. And the world didn’t end and those who went had fun and they wrote about their experiences.
Before leaving for Kansas I rarely took time for me. The last time I read a book it was because my body shut down for a day and raised a white flag. For a woman who’s got more books than some small town libraries that’s just wrong. While I didn’t read much on this adventure, I did write, and it was the type of writing that gets my nerves dancing and I realized that I could and should be doing that type of writing on TLT and I could and should be taking time away from TLT, period. Without that time away I won’t have any
And that is paramount. What I do is important and meaningful and fun, and I want to take it beyond Chicago to other cities and towns. That can only happen if I stick my head out of the rabbit hole and see the other warrens.