Settling back

I’ve been back for just three days but it already feels like way too long.

The next 8 days are going to be a whirlwind of activity. I’m trying to get everything wrapped up for the big move, which looks like it might take place a bit early now. There was a SNAFU at work and my summer class was canceled for some reason. That throws a serious kink into my plans (and potentially takes a big chunk of money I was depending on for the move, trip and healthcare), but there’s not much I can do about that.

On days like this, it’s good to take a step back and focus – at least for a bit – on the brighter side of things.

This weekend, I got to hang out with my family on Father’s Day. And the weather has been spectacular (even if a bit muggy), allowing me to bop around town writing and such things. It’s also allowed me to dream a bit of next year’s adventure in London, which is still in the gestation phase right now (although I have about 3 pages of notes to write up).

And today I had, serendipitously, a wonderful chat with a friend this morning book-ended by a great dinner with another friend and her kid along the river. Those things make it easier for me to keep my eyes on the projects I’m working on even though it’s hard to do when half my stuff is packed away, my office is mostly closed down and I’m trying to get the mundane details on this move finalized.

One step at a time.

With all the crazy bad going on in the world, there are so many good things swirling around right now it’s ridiculous to focus on the situations that can easily become brain-eaters, my lovely term for the times in life when you try to battle against forces entirely out of your control.

So, in the interests of my own well being, here are the work things that I have to look forward to:

  • I seriously can’t wait to get moved into my place in Muncie. I can already “see” it in my head, which is a good thing. I am excited to truly have a working space.
  • I also can’t wait to meet my Graduate Assistant (whomever that turns out to be) because I have a list a mile long of tasks that need completing.
  • Which will help me start organizing The Cult of Me, which is mostly written on the blog but not assembled yet in a workable manner.
  • I can’t wait to get set up in my space in the Center for Media Design, digging into the work they have going.
  • I can’t wait to finish up the proposal for So Far, Appalachia, which my dad has agreed to help me get going
  • I can’t wait to get back in touch with Drew at Carnegie Mellon to finish up the proposal for Making Digital.
  • I can’t wait to start writing on Dungeons and Dreamers, which we are hoping to get finished in the next few months.
  • I can’t wait to find the cafes that I’ll be writing at in Muncie, and I can’t wait to find the walking trails that I’ll be using.
  • I can’t wait to get my class schedule for this fall, and I can’t wait to make my kids read David Foster Wallace, Christopher Hitchens and my other favorites.
  • I can’t wait to get with my friends and colleagues at Ball State University (and to get that first big fishing trip scheduled; you know, the one where we leave our technology at home).
  • I can’t wait to get next summer’s proposal sent to Nina in London.
  • I can’t wait to get the Knight, Pew and MacArthur grants finished (hello G.A., these are the second, third and fourth things we’ll be doing together).

Heck, there’s even so fun personal things going down there days:

  • writing and coffee on the river every day
  • a July 4 baseball game with two kids
  • a trip back to Manchester (my family’s home)
  • a drive along the Wilderness Road, the route my ancestor used to get from Virginia to Clay County
  • a visit to Mary Jean’s house (which is on the scary Northside, near an ex’s house. I am going anyway.)
  • coffee with Glenn Platt, one of my favorites
  • more time with my family
  • squeezing in a few baseball games with my best pals before I skeedattle up the road
  • red hair and girls who wear boots with their skirts (okay that is not actually happening to me, but it’s happening around me and that’s good enough)

So there it is. The summer of fun list that, when put down in list form, looks pretty good. And I’m sure that’s not even the complete list of adventure and fun. But it’s a good start.

One item at a time.