I talk a lot about the importance of getting away from the computer, getting off the grid and finding time alone.
A couple of times a month, I have the opportunity to get away from the office and spend time in some of the Coalition’s more outlying facilities. (The living conditions are what online job postings call “austere.”) The ever-present noise of of Baghdad – cars, generators, air conditioners – is gone. Teflon Don:
The desert, though- the desert is different. The sky was clear of dust and haze- we were far past the lights of the city, and the stars shone soft and brilliant. The Milky Way stretched out overhead like a band of cotton.
Out there, I have no distractions unless I bring a book. No computer account, no shared drive, limited phone service. Other than programmed meetings, my time is mine. I’m always surprised how much progress I can make thinking through a project, just sitting at a table for four hours with a pen and a stack of A4 paper.
Not only that, I get back to Baghdad rested and even-keeled.