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I’ve more or less gotten to the point where time zone shifts don’t bother me.  Another week, another city. I tell myself where and when I am and hold to it. Flying to the East Coast and back every few weeks isn’t crazy; it’s what I do.

It didn’t occur to me until after the fact that I might have hit my limit last week.

***

I planned to go to New York the week of the 10th for some much needed face time with my team. Passover was on Monday, though, which meant I’d fly in Tuesday and leave Saturday. Easy.

The day after I bought my ticket, plans changed – I had to be in Dallas on Wednesday the 12th for an all day meeting.  Less easy, but manageable. I changed flights around, flying into Dallas Tuesday and New York Wednesday evening.

Friday of that week, plans changed again – I now had to be in DC for a meeting on Wednesday the 19th. Any other weekend I’d have stayed on the East Coast. Easter and Christmas are the two holidays that firmly belong to my psuedo-sister, though, and while she’d have forgiven me if I missed it, I wouldn’t have. So I changed my Saturday evening flight home to a morning flight (to maximize Z time over the weekend) and booked an in-Tuesday out-Wednesday trip to D.C.

Monday the 17th, our Wednesday meeting got moved to afternoon, late enough that I’d miss the last flight out of both National and Dulles Wednesday evening and would have to fly home Thursday.

***

After a while, pretty much anything acclimates to normal. I expect the last minute travel, the meetings that change times and dates half a dozen times. I never plan on taking the flight home that I booked – I’m almost always catching something earlier or later. So while I was a bit frustrated by the time I got on the plane to D.C., it was mostly because I had very much wanted to come home Wednesday night.

It was when my paralegals emailed me a simple question Thursday afternoon, and I replied that I’d been through four cities and five time zones in the last 10 days and could they PLEASE JUST HANDLE IT WITHOUT ME, that the full force of how insane the prior two weeks had been came crashing down on me.

***

I fell into How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful on the plane ride home from D.C. Headphones on and the album on repeat, wondering how I’d waited so damn long to listen to it. Except that the music always finds me when I need it.  This one wouldn’t have resonated the way it does now if I’d listened to it when it came out two years ago. I’m still breathing it in, letting it play over and through me, waiting to get to the point where it’s inked into my memory.

***

Lately, I’ve been trying to make more time for connections.  Looking at where I am in the world and who’s nearby. Reaching out to one or two people in a city rather than doing the blast email trying to see everyone and failing thing. I’m happier for it, seeing and talking to the people I want to spend time with.

February is Letter Month, and I always mean to do it then never do. Too much time on planes, on hikes with Z, juggling bedtime and dishes and laundry and the jungle-that-is-our-yard. I miss it, though, miss the quiet silence of ink and paper, miss the tangled rush of thoughts into sentences. I miss the summer my best friend and I spent writing to each other, miss the long notes I used to write, the ones that rambled and meandered.

So. If you’d like a letter, let me know in the comments or by text or whatever.