Last week it struck me that it was about time to start booking the Spring round of flights to come to The Ranch (if you are not aware, most airlines release them in tranches; I believe Southwest issues theirs through April this week). I have got more of my rhythm now in terms of travel (one would think, after 14 months, this would be true), so booking early will give me my best chance at getting the flights I want (Not leaving too early, not arriving too late. There is no reason to be at the airport at 0 dark thirty.).
As I sat down and reviewed the upcoming year, I suddenly realized that - between planning flights once a month and vacation which will have to be used - I will be traveling 33% of the year.
I simply had no idea.
What it did mean, as I sat and pondered it, was that I was going to need to change how I do things for travel and my expectations at home.
For travel, the biggest change I needed to make was simply what I brought - for over a year, I have traveled with a suitcase and a computer bag. I, on average, probably spend an hour trying to recover my luggage between two arrivals (luggage systems at modern airports seem to be much slower than they used to be). Why, I thought to myself, was I wasting an hour?
After all, at this point I know precisely what I need to bring when I come to the Ranch. There is never any variation, except by season. And what if, I wondered, I started simply pre-positioning things? It is not as if I need to travel with toiletries (well, except of course moustache wax. That is a bit hard to come by - the good stuff, anyway). And clothes? Yes, there are things I can bring with me, but things like underwear and socks and undershirts do not need travel with me every time. I certainly have enough of them.
And so, the travel bags you see above: a backpack and a computer case. Surprisingly so far, the world has not ended with not having brought other things. I will wash what I brought and leave the bulk of them here when I go. Within two trips, I can effectively have a compact second wardrobe here.
(Would that I could only travel with one computer instead of two. That said, there is no way I am crossing the work/personal streams. I will just have to lug both.)
But having resolved this, I realized that it impacted my life on a larger scale as well.
In point of fact, if I am gone 33% of the time, that means my involvement in activities is 33% less: 33% less Iai class, 33% less Rabbit Shelter, 33% less gym time (but not necessarily working out, of course), 33% less time on things like gardening and cheese. It does have an impact.
What it means, of course, is that I have to be somewhat smarter and more innovative about how I do these things. Find time when I am there to effectively "double down" on those activities; find time when I am away to continue to do or support them even if I am not physically there (for example, I have had to effectively rig a sprinkler system for the garden while I am away).
It also means that going forward, thoughts about involvement in other things and purchases need to be evaluated as well. I will not be the best card carrying member of any organization at the moment, nor does necessarily buying more things that will sit somewhere being make a lot of sense.
It is odd - without thinking I had entered a transition, I have entered a transition of indeterminate length and unknown extent. I had hoped, perhaps, to do this in a more thoughtful and organized way. However, as wiser heads than I have pointed out, Life is as much what happens to you as it is what you try to make happen.