I’m excited to be heading off to Anaheim in a few days for ASCD’s annual conference. I was lucky enough to be able to present this year, and along with the presentation, will also be involved in a number of other interesting experiences in Anaheim. I’m thankful to my organization for supporting my work with ASCD, and I’m thankful to have the chance to learn from so many excellent people.
I’m not, however, thankful to have to pack.
While I enjoy the act of traveling, and certainly enjoy the act of learning, I don’t really love the act of packing. Maybe some people find it fun, or stress-relieving, but not me. I tend to think too “big picture” for packing, which means I tend to want to bring too much stuff (just in case!) and I inevitably end up forgetting something important.
It doesn’t seem to be that I don’t know what I need. Instead, for whatever reason, it just seems like I have too many ideas in my head while I pack, and I never seem to give the art of packing the full attention it is due.
What’s interesting is I tend to really enjoy the types of puzzles that packing provides. I like building schedules, connecting people together, brainstorming how to help people fill needs. . . all of those activities have some similarities to packing. After all, packing is about getting the right item to fit the right conditions, just like the “matchmaker” aspect of the other processes I mentioned. But, maybe since I tend to think “people first,” I find it harder to invest the time and energy into working with inanimate objects like clothes, or belts, or toiletries.
IN any event, I need to learn how to give my packing the same amount of attention as that of the other puzzles I relish that involve people. After all, if I pack only one outfit, I won’t have an opportunity to learn from as many people as I would if I came fully prepared. Such is the same with any of our leadership work. If I can’t invest myself in all experiences, then I’m likely to be missing something very important.