And that's it. The week is done, and early tomorrow morning I'm off to Japan. It's been a remarkably stress-free preparation; I had my lists, I had my tasks, I had all the deadlines. Most of them got done, some were foiled through no fault of my own.
What comes next is also not something I can fully control. My bags contain multiple copies of my conference presentation, maps, directions, receipts, and schedules. But I am just a participant in this event, just as I am just a passenger on the plane. I really need these periods when I am not in control -- when I am an audience, or playing a role in someone else's production. It used to be very difficult for me; I worked myself into knots wishing I knew more about what was going on, or wondering if I could trust the people running the show. Now, although those tendencies are still with me, I see these occasions as opportunities to relax and focus on something else.
I still have a to-do list for the long transpacific flight -- an iPad full of freshman papers to grade, a presentation next month to prepare. I'd prefer to have my choice of leisure activities, but with a fourteen-hour flight, there's probably plenty of time for leisure and work both. The vacation for me is knowing that I will have to grade when I have the chance, e-mail the work back whenever internet is available, and if circumstances conspire against any of those obligations, they'll just have to wait. Blogging will have to wait, too; don't expect me here daily for the next week, although I'll try to find a chance to write every day and post later.
See you on the other side of the world!