Those who know me well are generally at least somewhat aware of the particular patterns of my life. Being a person whose mind is far-reaching and full of diverse interests, it would make sense that I would find balance in being a lot more circumscribed in other parts of life. Today, because my mother is visiting town for the second year in a row at this time , I will once again be spending time with some of my close friends and frequent dinner companions in the far Southeastern part of the Portland metropolitan area. Since this year I have a job (unlike last summer, when I was between jobs), it will require a fairly substantial change of routines and plans. Being the sort of chronicler that I am, I thought I would catalog at least some of them.
For one, I normally live in the Southwestern part of the Portland area, slightly on the Beaverton side of the Beaverton-Tigard boundary. My job is just inside the Hillsboro side of the Hillsboro-Beaverton boundary, and given that both of those cities have about 90,000 people or so, that is not quite as close as one might think. Nevertheless, it is close enough that I can travel to and from work in about 20 minutes to half an hour if traffic cooperates, which is generally the case early in the morning when I go to work (before 6AM) but less so in the afternoon when rush hour starts before 3PM sometimes (for reasons I do not quite understand). My commute will be considerably lengthened, to at least an hour and fifteen minutes each way, and possibly more than two hours on the way from (we’ll find out tonight, I suppose, how long it takes for me to get through traffic), but there are of course benefits, even if the commute is a little scary.
There are plenty of other aspects of routine that will be changed because of the timing and location shift. I am a person of habits. Among these habits are going to get the mail to see if any books are on the way (since I acquire and read books at a somewhat alarming pace). Obviously, some of my books are going to have to wait a little while because I will be unable to attend to them at my usual speed, but I still hope to make at least a couple of visits over the next week and a half to pick up my reading material for my customary book reviews, to keep the book pipeline running as smoothly as possible. Even the writing of my blog entries will have to change. Since my “blog day” starts at 10PM during Daylight Savings Time, because my blog was set up in the Eastern Standard Time zone, I normally wait until 10PM to post my blog entries. Clearly, with getting up that early, staying up that late would be foolish, and so that will have to change, at least temporarily.
Other rhythms in life will change as well. I have a weekly shopping routine when it comes to my groceries, and a weekly laundry routine as well for Sunday evenings. These routines will have to change as well. Of particular note, since food is of such importance, is that I will have to find some time in the evening after the end of the ABC seminar to shop for my lunch food, since I greatly prefer to bring in a lunch at a much lower cost than it would take to eat out every day for lunch (which can get very expensive, more than my entire grocery bill for breakfast, lunch, and dinner would be for lunches alone). Being at least slightly Scottish, and being disinclined to waste money (which is why I get almost all of the books I read for free), that is a matter that will require at least some attention .
Of course, it is worthwhile to discuss at least briefly the reasons why I am doing this. My mom is coming to town, and I very rarely get to see her (only once a year in the past couple of years, and it had been two years before that since I had seen her), which is still way more often than I have been able to see anyone else in my family. In fact, aside from my mother, I haven’t seen any family members at all since May 2011, almost the entire time I have written this particular blog . In large part, economics has driven this absence, although that is not the only factor. I am certainly someone who cares a lot for my family, and someone who thinks about family and my family in particular often. Yet a gulf remains between the love that is felt and the love that is shared and recognized, and that is always a difficult gulf to overcome. Distance is not only a matter of geography, but also a matter of communication and affection, and these are also great gulfs between me and those whom I care about. I am sure that many people will be able to relate to those difficulties, which we try to overcome as best as we are able, even if that is not nearly as well as we would prefer.
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 My love of free things is an occasional subject of this blog:
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