Friday, July 5, 2013

Unable to Relax, Travel and Project Overload

It is 1 a.m. as I write this first sentence. I am unable to relax because I need to pack and plan for a week-long trip later today. The idea of not being in my own house leaves me anxious. I like things familiar and easily navigated.

Some trips are easier than others. Once in Dallas, I learned to navigate the area in a day and quickly appreciated how familiar Dallas was to me as a California native. I've also enjoyed trips to Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida. But, I didn't do well in several other cities. The more "vanilla" a city is, and the closer it is to a grid, the easier for me to navigate.

This week, I'll be in Naples, Florida. I've already studied maps and located familiar stores and restaurants. It isn't that I don't like to try local fare, but I like knowing where the Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Panera, and Dunkin' Donuts are for emergencies.

Sunday to Saturday is a long trip for me. I don't like to be gone that long, unless I'm with friends or family. This trip is entirely work-related.

While in Florida, I have to manage the client project for which I'm there, a new play I need to write, an existing play I need to revise, a client screenplay I need to finish this summer, several academic conference and journal proposals, and several other projects with impending due dates. So, in additional to trying to deal with a unfamiliar place, I'll have the standard anxiety of too many projects and not enough time. Focus will certainly be an issue.

Also, I will worry about the kids. Mutt, one of our two oldest cats, is not well. He is in his final months, so I want to be with him as much as possible. I hold him several times a day, and feed him treats. I'll miss that while I am gone.

Will I complete all my projects? I don't have much choice with some of them! Will I enjoy the trip? Probably not, but I will tolerate it and be as professional as possible. I will need time away from people, to decompress and to be productive.

And when I return, I will need a few days to recover.

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