aka: Shannon's Shananigan's (Since there seems to be less & less knitting and more Shananigan-ing going on as of late and well, let's face it, she's just going to always be a techygeekgirl!!)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Alone...but Not Lonely

Alone is a funny word. At first glance, it comes across as negative. As in our society, in can be bad to be alone, sit alone, walk alone, be alone. But it can be positive too - you may stand alone, work alone or live alone. See, same word, different connotation.

I've been thinking a lot about alone lately. I feel like I'm alone too much these days, but on some days, I feel like I need to be alone. It's odd actually.

This past trip I travelled by myself - alone if you will. But I did not get lonely. I actually had a great time. It seems that when I travel by myself, I get to meet all sorts of great people. During a 4 hour delay for the Zurich flight in NYC, I found myself talking to 2 guys from Tulsa on their way to Lichtenstein for work. And on the way back, I found myself on the same route from Zurich to STL with 3 guys from Boeing who were also chatty. When I travel with others, I don't get to meet other people.

So back to alone. Work is interesting. We have breakfast, work, have lunch, work more, and go to dinner with the same people from our team every day while we are there. Don't get me wrong, it's a great team, but after 2 weeks, you want to be alone. For awhile. And some days, when people or you are crabby or had a stressful day, you want to be alone - for a long time.

But then I get lonely. (lonely is different than alone) And I want to talk to people, so I like to call home. And see how life on the other side of the world is going. And I love to hear about the "nothing" going on here and how STL is doing and everything else. And then I don't feel so lonely, even when I'm alone.

I've decided to take a break from the dating thing and be alone. This has been an interesting decision, but I think it's for the best right now. I've met some great people and some not so great people online, so I think I want to take that break and see what happens. It seems the guys I'm meeting either don't really want to date me, or are obsessed with me or just want to be friends, which is OK too. I don't think I'm that picky, but it's just not worth the hassle and heartbreak to me right now. It will be worth it again at some time in the future and maybe soon...

Now don't get me wrong - sometimes it sucks being alone, but I'm not lonely right now. I have great friends and I'm enjoying the travel. Though I hate coming home to an empty house and not having anyone special to miss me, I know that it will not be forever. It can't be. I can't believe that. I've had it before and it has to happen again - it must. I just don't know when and that's hard for me to accept, being the control freak that I am. But I have to let it go and let God show me the way on this one. I have put my trust in him for so much other stuff, that I have to let him have this one too.

So here I am alone. It's a good alone. I have my pups and a pile of laundry and a list of people to see this week. And I had dinner with my family last night. And I talked to friends on the phone while in the airport yesterday after 10 hours of really no interaction with anyone. And it's good. I have a good life, a good job, a fabulous family and friends.

And the other thing that I've learned is that you are never alone as long as you are loved. And there are lots of people and God on that list, so I know that being alone is the least of my worries.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Morning over the Rhein

I took these the other morning when I got in early, out the windows in our building. I am fortunate to have my desk right next to the windows, so on sunny days, I get to see this:

(Switzerland, Germany & France come together about 10 minutes walk down going this way)

Usually the river is much more "choppy" and full of barge traffic.

It was a calming effect to see everything so "quiet" and peaceful.

And if you look really close, you can see the mountains in France and Germany in the background.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Drive-By Swiss Update

Friday night I was out with this crowd until 2am at Bar Rouge on the 31st floor of the Basel Ramada. It's the 2nd tallest building in Switzerland. We were able to bring "Sexy Back", along with a lovely selection of dance favorites from the 70's, 80's & 90's. Us Americans were very easy to spot in the crowd and the bouncers kept a close eye on us all night.

I also used the facilities in Bar Rouge, on the 30th floor and snapped this lovely shot. Yes, that's a full length window over looking the city and an eerie reflection of me taking a picture. Good thing I took the picture AFTER I was finished...

On Saturday, we checked out a local skating rink for an afternoon of ice skating outside in the sun. It was still chilly, but not too bad. I was even able to skate backwards for a bit...

On Sunday we travelled down to Zermatt. It is almost directly south of Basel on the other end of Switzerland, right on the border with Italy. On the 3.5 hour train ride down we saw lots of mountains and lakes by Thun:

We saw the town of Zermatt:
And we saw the Matterhorn. It's amazing. While the pictures are beautiful, it does not give it justice for seeing it in person. It was absolutely breathtaking!
We saw other Swiss Alps from Gornergrat, which was at the top of one of the peaks near the Matterhorn. It sits 3100 meters (1.9 miles) above sea level. It was about 16 degrees F up there too, with about a 20mph wind that kicked up. We even walked up the ramp to the upper observation deck and I wiped out on the icy pavement and banged up my knee. (That's gonna leave a mark!)
The clouds rolled in after lunch and "stuck" to the peak of the mountain, but we were able to take plenty of pictures before then.

On the way back down the 5 mile ride on the mountain, several of us decided to try sledding. It was about a 3/4 mile track down the mountain. The trail was like a ski run and it ran fast. I was in jeans and Nike's with knitted gloves, careening down the mountain on a sled that required me using my FEET to steer - BRILLIANT!! I laughed the entire time, when I was not screaming for dear life. This is on the list of "to do's" again very soon!! (the run is along the tracks in this spot)

Late Sunday night after a full day of sun, snow and sledding, I headed home for a hot bath and to watch the first 30 minutes of the SuperBowl here:

It was a full weekend and I have about 150 pictures in all and about another 100 from the last weekend here. I'm already starting to plan my next weekends back here and what we can do.

See you this weekend in St. Lou...