A week from today, I begin my travels as part of the Southern Cone program.  For various reasons, my travel begins well in advance of that of the students.  Still, a week from today I’m on my way to the airport.

I’m asked frequently by friends and colleagues:  “Are you ready?”

No.  No, I’m not.

I’ve been thinking about the importance of routine lately.  I like to think I’m not a slave to routine but I’m looking at serious disruption in my daily and weekly routine over the next six months.  Starting a week from today I will have essentially no routine until March 1.  Every day is different, I’m all over the place and will see completely new things hourly.  Very cool.  I really do love that sort of thing.  At the same time, it’s stressful to be in charge of that sort of semi-organized chaos.

On March 1, we’ll move to Chile and a more normal college semester will commence.  I’ll eventually develop a routine and can expect to have it pretty well nailed down by the time to leave.  That should be fine, then, right?  Return to my current routine?  Who knows, as Wake chemistry is, itself, undergoing a fairly serious disruption of its routine which may not end (hopefully, honest) for sometime.  Like Southern Cone’s disruption in my daily routine, Wake’s current and potential disruption offers the possibility of great opportunity.  But where opportunity lies, risk also dwells.  Or something.

Anyway, what got me going this morning was Mary leaving for a once a week appointment which she usually does on Thursday.  Watching her pack up for it I was “this close” (hold fingers close together) to outright panic as I thought I was five days, and not a week, from having to leave.  Not to mention having missed maybe a dozen important meetings.

Seeing the look on my face she said, “I’m going on Tuesday this week.  I told you that.”

“Oh, yeah.”  Back to ordinary levels of pre-travel stress.  Those disruptions in routine can be dizzying.


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