Month: September 2022

Arriving at Quiet

After a week of near constant urgency, I’ve finally landed in an open space. It is the open space that all of my urgent preparations were designed to create. I spent most of last week preparing to leave for this conference trip, worrying that some last minute Covid disaster would prevent my going, and also trying to set things up for a smooth return. Then when I got to Houston, all my days were occupied with the organizational tasks of helping shepherd nearly two hundred people from a hotel onto buses then onto a cruise ship where we immediately had to run an orientation session and multiple classes. It was all joyful, but busy.

Today is the first day in a port. No classes are planned. I didn’t book any excursions. It is just me with hours available. I just cleared the small admin tasks that chase after me via email. I finally have a moment to pause and decide exactly what I want to spend time on next. And I get to do it while looking at this view:

View of blue ocean and clouds from a cruise ship balcony

The next three days are as empty as this one. I’m interested to see what emerges in the space.

Packing Possibilities

I’m going on a trip later this week and I am packing for it now. Other people who are also going on this trip were making jokes about packing along books that they never read while on the trip. I do this too, and I have in the past felt bad about it. As if I somehow failed at a trip goal by failing to read the book I brought with me. This time I’m seeing it differently. I’m packing along these books and water color paints as possibilities for how I might spend time while I’m away from my usual pursuits. I won’t know until I get there whether these possibilities will speak to me during the trip. If I spend my time entirely differently, nothing was harmed by bringing along these possibilities.

I will do the same thing with clothes, make up, and jewelry. Each thing I pack is an opportunity to explore who I am when I’m removed from my usual context. The Sandra of vacation who has different paths for her days than the one who walks the familiar patterns of being at home. I will get to dwell in aspects of myself that are usually tucked away. I’m looking forward to that.