----------------------------------------------- Google Site Map ----------------------------------------------- Cindy in ...: Re-entry: Preparing for the road

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Re-entry: Preparing for the road

Every time I come back, I do a road trip, stopping to visit friends in North Carolina, the Washington DC area, and Massachusetts, and my brother in Pennsylvania. I have to work my schedule around theirs. Usually I spend a week or two in St. Pete, going to the beach, visiting my storage locker, luxuriating in my suddenly expanded wardrobe, and eating my way through my list of foods I missed.

This year, however, one of my friends had a month-long vacation planned. Between my car insurance problems and her schedule, I had only two full days to prepare for the trip. Surprisingly, this turned out to be plenty of time. I did forget a couple of things, but it wasn't bad at all. In restrospect, I can see that I usually lounge around for most of the time, then rush around like mad at the end. I really don't spend any more time preparing for the trip. I just do things not related to getting on the road and goof off a lot.

When I have time, I debate about which clothes to take. When I don't have time, I decide to take this, and this, and that, boom, I'm done. When I have time, I choose books for the trip from the stock in my storage locker, seeking a balance among different genres. When I don't have time I just grab the box of books that I didn't get to on the last road trip.

That's the good. The bad is that I was rushed and did not take out my To Do list for one last check before I left. I had intended to do some on-line applications for ESL (English as a Second Language) jobs in China, but I need scans of my degrees for that, as well as scans of my marriage license and change-of-name papers from my divorce. My MBA is in my married name, so I need to prove that degree belongs to me. But all these documents are safely stored in my storage locker in St. Pete, and I'm in Pennsylvania now.

Advice to Myself: Use your To Do lists. Of course I know this, but a To Do list that you don't use is just an interesting exercise to prove to yourself that you are really, really busy. Being really, really busy is a virtue in the US. That now seems strange to me, but apparently I still succumb when I get back on American soil. It radiates up through the sidewalks and seeps through the soles of my shoes into my feet, I think.

No comments: