My countdown to Japan is a matter of lists, days, hours, and tasks. Five hours of TV to watch, five recaps to write. Five classes to teach. Fourteen papers to grade. One roller bag and one carry-on to pack, with one long and detailed list to check off. Three folders to fill with copies, backups, papers, printouts, instructions, and maps.
In one sense, I'm just letting the event come to me. Huge moments like this just seem to roll towards me on the calendar, and they will arrive whether I obsessively prepare or not. But I find that I have a lot more equanimity about their arrival if I feel like I'm working methodically through all the things I need to do to prepare.
It's only day one of this five-day march toward my trip. One class taught, one-half hour of TV watched, one recap written, one bank called so that they won't freeze my cards when the Japanese charges start rolling in. Tonight I'll put another hour of TV and another recap behind me. You can't do this all at once, luckily for my sanity. And yet, moving so steadily towards such a near-term goal feels quite different from the long-haul of semesters and years on which scale we normally work. Every day brings me closer to Tokyo. Well, every day and then the fifteen hours of plane travel.