I have had trouble with long term planning or scheduling much of anything more than a few weeks into the future for as long as I can remember. There is a very good chance that if I had to schedule my funeral, I would never die.
Having contractual obligations with set deadlines has helped to resolve some of this. It has also introduced me to the fascinating world of organization, a place I am still not overly familiar with.
With this as the background, imagine being asked to plan for June and September 2011. It is almost as though I received notice this morning that the federal government has deemed the use of English is offensive to illegal immigrants and as a result, beginning Friday all business must be conducted in Spanish.
I can operate in the basics with that language and handle some important items like ask for the restroom or order a beer. Requirements beyond this place me in a world that is very unfamiliar. can never be said that something as insignificant as not understanding, not having instructions, or not knowing what I am doing held me back. Coupled to this is an inability to not see an excuse for adventure in most everything from a blizzard to reading about the world’s largest ball of twine or simply realizing it is Thursday and I have a day off.
So, when confronted with the excuse and challenge of making the big international Route 66 wing ding in Amarillo, scheduled for next June, the stage for the debut of the next book, Ghost Towns of Route 66, I put my head down and charged right in presenting a pretty fair impression of someone who knew what they were doing.
I learned a long time ago that if you surround yourself with folks who know which end of the horse to feed, people will just assume you know that as well. That will often buy enough to time to learn or at least learn enough to bluff your way through with the illusion of confidence.
With that lesson in mind, I sent a note to Russell Olsen (Route 66 Lost and Found), Kathy Alexander (the primary author of Greetings from Route 66, Legends of America), and Joe Sonderman, the current reigning champion in regards to the penning of books pertaining to Route 66. The hope was that we could share a booth resulting in trimmed expenses for all concerned, that together we would cast a larger shadow, and that I could ride on their coat tails and learn a thing or two.
Well, Joe and Kathy will be attending. Russell can’t fully commit at this time, fully understandable.
Additionally, Bob Lile, affectionately known to fans of Route 66 as “Croc”, has graciously agreed to display a small sampling of photos in the Ghost Towns of Route 66 series, currently under development, at his gallery. I am not known for doing things in half measures so a book debut and unveiling a new series of photographic prints at the same time makes perfect sense in my world.
To date my first endeavor with long term planning is a carrot and stick sort of thing. The stick is obligation, commitment, responsibility, and an almost all consuming urge to avoid spending the golden years as a Walmart greeter.
The carrot is visions of peanut butter chocolate pie and conversation with Fran at the Midpoint Cafe in Adrian, meeting Croc, Joe Sonderman, and countless others from the Yahoo Route 66 egroup for the first time. It is the chance of camaraderie with those who have experienced an adventure on the double six and that as a result are intimate with its captivating charm. It is the opportunity for a grand adventure of epic proportions.
So it is with eager anticipation, and the slightest twinge of nervousness, that I turn my eyes to 2011 with its promise of not one but two grand Route 66 adventures, completion of a new book, the unveiling of another, the meeting of old and new friends, and the very first steps of my grandson. As a bonus, I get to experience the brave new world of long term planning, delve deeper into this thing called organization, and, perhaps, set the stage for an even more amazing 2012.