In this and the next column, I will share the burdens of the planning process for no other reason than it is completely true that misery loves company!
Jan. 1, a three -page “To Do List” was crafted; I confess they are my salvation when the ground is littered with a multitude of minutia. It is so reassuring! I do not lay awake at night, holding on to that scrap of data fearing that I will not remember. No sir, not me. I rise early and after taking care of the animals and ingesting my daily allotment of caffeine while absorbing the latest verbal crisis emanating from that big house on Pennsylvania Avenue, I open the “To Do List.” Voila! I have my instructions for the day.
To keep things prioritized, balanced and on schedule, the list is categorized: Travel, Research, Home and the like. Surely, you did not expect me to put it all down here for you?
Each one of these topics is subdivided into a few more manageable groupings. Not only does that procedure allow me to bite off little pieces, but when I cross them out as completed and put the outcome in red ink, it makes for a very pretty picture.
If you are still breathing normally and your heart rate has not escalated, I have oversimplified things. Let me elaborate a smidgeon more.
Research may seem obvious, but confirming in advance what one needs to examine, who should be interviewed and where these things will take place (hours, permission and contact) is critical unless there is access to an endless amount of time. This component also requires a considerable amount of reading, phone calls and Googling. Hmmmm, if I fail to get this component right, I just may join Ulysses in a journey of epic duration!
And then there is the travel part. If I were flying it would be oh, so simple, but I will be driving and for a special reason. So, the car needs to be up to snuff and and I will need lodging. The bigger issue is what path will I take? You will have to tune in next week to find out why it took me several hours (more than eight but less than 16) to figure it out.