Friday, January 4, 2019

Bedlam 2018

After taking a year off, I'm reviving an annual tradition I started in 2011—taking a moment at the turning of the calendar to summarize where I slept during the past year.

I refer to this as "bedlam" because: a) I'm on the road a lot and have a chaotic and confusing distribution of sleeping arrangements; b) some think that my travel schedule is prima facie evidence of mental imbalance (and I don't want to deprive them of data); and c) I have a congenital weakness for word play.
So here are the highlights of where I was when the lights went out each night. Because I didn't post about this last year and 2016 was anomalous for health reasons, I'll compare my 2018 stats with 2015 as I sift for trends.

o  It's always good to start with home. In 2018 I slept in my own bed (the one I share with Susan) 216 nights, or 59% of the time, which is about average.

o  I stayed with clients 67 nights, which continues an upward trend in that regard (it was only 51 nights three years back, and that was an increase from 2014).

o  I was with family 27 nights, down slightly from three years ago.

o  I visited friends overnight a meager six nights, which was down dramatically from 42 nights in 2015. (I'm scratching my head over this one as I don't have the sense that I'm visiting friends less—maybe I'm just not spending the night like I used to?)

o  As a cancer survivor I live with a compromised immune system and I was reminded of that last winter when I spent two brief stints in the hospital battling respiratory illnesses, trimming my total at home by five nights. 

o  Coincident with my retiring as FIC administrator at the end of 2015, I only attended one set of meetings (as a Board member of the Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions) and one event (the Canadian Cohousing Conference in Vancouver last spring) in 2018. 

o  As an inveterate train traveler I slept on the choo choo 30 nights, plus an additional three nights as Amtrak's guest in a hotel when I missed a connection. (Incidentally, those were my only nights in a hotel, for which I am thankful.) This was about average for nights on a train. I also spent one short night on a plane, winging my way from Atlanta to Madrid, where dawn and I arrived simultaneously.

o  As an artifact of my battle with multiple myeloma, I have three collapsed vertebrae at the top of my lumbar section. While I've been able to adjust to this with minimal residual pain, I can assure you that I thoroughly enjoy lying down at the of the day on a nice mattress and letting my back unwind. As such, I'm happy to report that my days of sleeping on floors are completely behind me (as opposed to beneath me), and I was only on a couch or air mattress 10 nights. Whew. Sleep is important.

o  Over the course of the year I slept and schlepped (my luggage) in 16 states, one province, and three cities in Spain (where Susan and I vacationed for nine days in October).

o  It's amazing to reflect on my ability to resurface as an active consultant and teacher after my cancer was discovered three years ago. I was one sick puppy at the time, but responded well to treatments and here I am. Since then I have experienced full cognitive recovery, and my constitution has rebounded sufficiently that I can work an intensive four-day stretch with no loss in function. (Fortunately, faciltating and teaching are not aerobically demanding vocations.) Three years after dancing on the brink of checking out, I'm not only still getting up each morning, but have good things to do and good people to do them with. In all, I've got a pretty good deal.

So that's my bedlam synopsis for last year. Here's wishing you and yours happy days and gratifying opportunities in the year ahead.

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