Beware Of The Reachback And Afterburn

My reachback and afterburn are colliding big-time. I write to help myself think it sort things out so I decided to share this with you.

Those words, invented by Eric Berne, are the best description I know of the situation when finishing one task and preparing to start another run into each other.

Yesterday morning I woke up in Spain and here I am 38 hours later, home in Colorado. I haven’t opened my suitcase and that’s something I need to do today.

  • I also need to unpack the suitcase,
  • fill the empty refrigerator,
  • sort almost 3 weeks worth of mail,
  • do the laundry,
  • sort out the messages I need to respond to
  • and prepare to leave again in a week for the Conversations Among Masters
    conference.

Right now my befuddled brain can’t remember where the conference is. I know it’s somewhere in the Midwest. Jetlag is normal for me under these circumstances. What I would ordinarily do is wander around the house going from one task to another without making choices since they all need to be done.

Writing is an experiment to see if thinking a little bit will help make anything easier. Since Jonathan is in the same boat, I don’t really know if this can go out soon, but that’s OK.

I’ve been reading Byron Katie’s wonderful book, “A Thousand Names For Joy.” It contains her comments on her husband, Stephen Mitchell’s translation of the “Tao Te Ching.” The repeated emphasis of her acceptance of the world exactly as it is inspires me and I would love to get through this day completely accepting my own disorganization.

I’ve put my four-year-old grandson’s birthday card to his grandpa, laboriously printed on bright yellow construction paper, in a prominent place to remind me of the joy of the last two weeks. Now it’s time to get on with this part of my life.

If I can figure out how, I’ll move the Twitter posts on to this blog so you and I can both learn about journaling the trip using social media. This is pretty new to me but one thing I did do was more than quadruple the size of my Twitter list during my trip.

This is the first time I’ve had unlimited access to the Internet while traveling. It made the experience different. I think I like it.

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