going away

I am going away for 5 days. As always, the last few days before leaving seem to pass in a frenzy of compiling lists of things to be attended to, and constant re-prioritizing as it becomes clear there is no way everything is even going to get looked at, let alone done. 5 days! Why do I do this?

Sure, the children need to be thought of and provided for. But we’ve talked all that through, and one big shopping trip this evening will cover their culinary needs. They are 14 and 17, and not babies. I am going to play music, so there is a certain amount of preparation for that, practicing and gathering equipment. But this is normal behaviour for me as well. Then there is packing and planning the journey to fit in with public transport schedules. None of these chores are particularly difficult.

What is ridiculous is that I suddenly feel compelled to address tasks I have been putting off for months. Phone calls, emails, and letters relating to the hunt for business take on a fresh urgency. Cleaning the house and tidying my office…Am I subconsciously preparing for death? Getting my house in order? Who am I kidding?

I’m going to be 60 next week. As anyone who knows me will confirm, I have for years proceeded through my life in a shambolic, random fashion, peppered with short bursts of organising frenzy. I am happiest on a day with no plans, left to my own devices. I’m not lazy, I’m always doing something. I just dont much like plans, agendas or schedules. Does anyone?

But the idea persists that when called to attention, I can scrub my life up in half an hour and appear in control, on track, a man at the helm of a well-oiled machine. Who cares? Certainly not me or any of my friends. They know me better than that.

I’d like to say that henceforth I’m going to stop this nonsense, but I have to get back to rewriting todays list of things to do. Wish me luck.

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