Monday I spent the better part of the day pet sitting with the main goal of really paying attention to the process I go through in order to pack up and spend time away from home. While several lessons were observed and (hopefully) learned, the biggest dealt with time.
Being away for just 12 hours or so simply doesn’t provide enough data to validate the desired test. To remind myself and others what that test actually was: while performing pet sitting duties (this particular trip to care for two of the cutest little poodly-puppies!) when my mother, who owns the pet sitting business, went into the hospital to have stints put in one of her arteries. I have been helping her with overflow on and off or three years, but never looked at the activity as an excursion.
One of my goals over the next several years is to be able to get out and about–do some traveling, see this country, and hopefully more of the world. Eat its food, meet its people. Unfortunately, not completely independently wealthy–yet! So this means I must find a way to be able to earn income to support this desired habit. Much of the work I currently do only requires a computer and an Internet connection.
So, I’ve decided to look at the times when Mom has more clients than she can handle as a test run for what I’m calling my BG Excursions
Okay, up to speed? Me, too!
As mentioned above, the short day was tough to gauge how life on the road might sort out. But there were some lessons (they only took about a week to come to mind). Perhaps the biggest was the classic case of the eyes being bigger than the stomach. Or more precisely, my desires to bring more projects to work on that I had time or would actually spend time with.
I’ve noticed this in other aspects of packing for travel. Bring that extra pair of socks and underwear–they might come handy. I’m going to have plenty of leisure time, so bring all the unread magazines and the two (or three, or four) books I’ve been neglecting. All this extra, just in case, stuff takes up space, weighs a ton, and ends up not getting used!
To be fair about the one day mini-excursion, I actually was planning for two days, on the chance Mom had to stay overnight. She didn’t. So a lot of things I planned for the extended time obviously couldn’t happen. But, I have been on a gig since Friday morning, and guess what? Yup, same phenomenon occurred!
WTF? Here’s my take on this–after directly pondering it since late yesterday afternoon:
- I tend to “hope” I’m going to find the time, passion and energy to do things. Why? I don’t know. If I haven’t worked on something for months at home, why will I work on it during an excursion?
- Clearly, I bring far more to do than I would every have time for, even if I poured all my effort, energy and passion into it. Why? The allure of being away from the state of normal in my life somehow seduces me into thinking, suddenly, a bright red “S” will appear on my chest and help get all this stuff done.
- Unknown distractions and opportunities abound! I’m not even on the road yet, seeing new sights, meeting new people. None of that stuff, yet a different environment is still quite distracting. Why? Since I don’t have cable/satellite (only streaming via Netflix (or whatever they call themselves nowadays) and Hulu. And even though I don’t have the facility to watch college football at home (and try to convince myself I no longer care to watch it), passing up watching games on a 60 inch HDTV is, well, rather hard. Don’t judge me 😐
Lessons I (Might) Have Learned
First, there is always far less time than we think there is going to be. Don’t overload the schedule with fantasies of becoming Super Productive Person.
Second, focused goal setting might be worth considering. If I’m this distracted, when going someplace I’ve been many times, how am I to expect to do any paying work when I get out on the road? Instead of lugging all the trappings required to work on three projects (not to mention the digital stuff inside the laptop) why not bring just one. If I could focus my time and efforts on that one, chances seem to me to be much higher I might actually succeed in completing it.
Third, I must instill more discipline regarding the clock. As much as I love “falling asleep when my eyes close and waking up when they open”, I suspect this luxurious lifestyle has its drawbacks–notably that I’m not taking full advantage of the time I have. I don’t mean to shoot for being uber-productive every waking moment, but having more waking moments with some structure might be a good thing.
But not to the level of living life as if I had a regular 9 to 5 go to the office five or six days a week kind of job. Shudder at the concept!