Do Not Leave Adult Unattended
I need to be at my multitasking best, but the recent family crisis has muddled my brain.
In Columbia two weeks ago, had our daughter not been with us downtown for lunch, I would never have found my way back to the car. I had driven and parallel-parked, but had not paid the least attention to street names, landmarks, direction of travel–none of the usual carefully noted details that keep a grown-up oriented.
Disoriented. Yes, I admit to it: I’m having difficulty maintaining my direction, my drive and my determination long enough to complete a task, much less make any real progress on my long outline of today’s to-dos.
My mind wanders. Or it just fades out. In the middle of a conversation, a train of thought, even a movie for diversion, at some point I realize I haven’t been attending. This is not a good head-space with which to embark on so many hours ahead of speakers, dialogue and need for attention to place, person and time. So I’m having to slap myself around a bit this morning. Buck up, hunker down, get your head in the game, Fred.
Once I’m there (at the SEJ Madison Conference) and as totally immersed as I’m going to get, I’ll shift, I trust, into my group-centric persona, put on my socially-gregarious game face vs my tendency to back up to a wall somewhere and become invisible; be a good listener, take lots of notes, create lists for follow-up at home, drink lots of coffee (and hopefully not too much microbrew, but…) and pretend the so-called real world back home doesn’t exist on the side of the artificially anesthetic worm-hole I’ll have passed through for a short while.
With regard to keeping in touch–should there be any interest–I’m likely to post once to the blog in the morning before meetings start, and then add updates to the post for that day, not sure if updates trigger rss reader notifications. I’ll also use tweetdeck to post simultaneously to twitter and facebook for current events (Al Gore, Tom Vilsack, Paul Ehrlich, and others to speak.) I’ll act as if any of this matters, since doing so will help me stay “in attendance” perhaps to some degree. We’ll see.
And with any luck, I’ll be able to find my hotel room most of the time and my car in long term parking when I return.
Image, from a brief look away– through the blessed escape of the camera lens– two weeks ago in Columbia, a few hundred yards from Henry’s NICU. I haven’t bothered trying to ID these berries. Anybody recognize them by name?