Working backward from my departure next Tuesday, I’m figuring out what meals I still need to shop for and prepare, how many more loads of laundry there are to do and which articles of clothing I can safely pack away into storage to make room for my tenant.
My friend is here helping me by scanning each of the documents I’ll be carrying with me…just in case. I’ve been using Evernote for awhile. Knowing that every important piece of paper (visas, tickets, reservations, etc.) can be produced digitally, if necessary, brings me great comfort. I will travel with all of the paper documents which I’ve organized into a plastic Muji carrying case.
Today I spread out everything on my list, except my clothing, so that I can get a visual sense of what I have. Scarlett is coming tomorrow to help me pack light. The challenge for me is to stay warm enough at the Great Wall of China, cool enough at the equator and the jungles of Vietnam, comfortable while participating in classroom activities, fancy enough for the Ambassadors Ball and meeting dignitaries, yet leaving enough space in my limited luggage capacity for all the beautiful saris, scarves and souvenirs I’ll want to bring back.
As a counterpoint to my exciting adventure, I heard shocking and sad news this morning–the untimely death of a man I met when I first moved here a little over a year ago. He died on Sunday at age 60; he had a heart attack while running in Central Park. We were only passing acquaintances, but I felt a strong connection to him anyway. I looked forward to getting to know him better in the years ahead. One of the last things I’ll do before I leave early Tuesday is attend the Monday afternoon memorial service in his honor.
I don’t need a tragic incident like this to motivate me to live my life fully. But it does catch me up short and remind me that each day really does count.