The Big Picture

My brain is stuck.

I thought I was getting good at multitasking. Now, I think the opposite is true. I’ve been totally absorbed in planning the Pennwriters Conference. True, I jump from recording registrations to responding to questions emailed to me from attendees and speakers. But I’m immersed in the conference.

Friday, I was standing in the middle of Wal-Mart, when I suddenly realized I had no idea what I was doing. My mind was running through my conference check list instead of mapping a path around the superstore to make most efficient use of my time and energy. (Loop around to pick up Coffee Mate, then hit the orange juice case, eggs, and then cheese before moving on to the cereal row.)

Yesterday, I realized I hadn’t given a bit of thought about what I need to pack in the way of clothes for the conference. Yes, I’ve packed all the conference stuff that’s been stored in my office for the last year. But what about ME? The human being. I need to have sufficient outfits to accommodate all the events. Any other year, I’d have been thinking about this for a month. Now, I’m suddenly frantic. My fancy dress for the keynote dinner needs to go to the dry cleaner. If I drop it off on Monday while I’m out that way, I can pick it up on my way to the conference, which will be the next time I’m in that neighborhood.

Last week’s mental vacation of taking care of Mark and Sara’s farm was a wonderful diversion. But they’re home now. I fear I might completely lose my ability to look at the world as a whole during these next ten days. To use a photography analogy, I’m using a zoom lens to focus on the last minute details of the conference. I need to switch to a wide angle lens as I begin to prepare to come back to real life and start to look at the big picture once again.

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