• Jack-hammering concrete.
  • Digging three-foot holes in basement dirt.
  • Hauling 50-lb buckets of dirt & rock up a flight of stairs x 100+.
  • Plumbing sewage drains.
  • Framing.
  • Plumbing water supplies.
  • Refilling trenches, mixing & pouring/finishing concrete.
  • Wiring.
  • Insulation.
  • Painting house exterior.
  • Painting house interior.
  • Packing.
  • Moving all personal belongings into storage unit.
  • Prepping internet classes.
  • Prepping shipboard classes.
  • Marketing a new book.
  • Performing a book reading.
  • Filming, producing, and editing new videos.
  • Editing clients’ dissertations and books.
  • Booking flights, hotels, and tours.

Now you know what my last 30 days has looked like.

While it is extraordinarily safe to state that I am still terrified to some extent of our upcoming Semester at Sea voyage, I have to admit, it sort of feels like a break from this Sisyphean mountain of work this summer.

True, the prep work to get ready to leave has been monumentally difficult, but I genuinely look forward to the time we get on the ship, at which point:

  • No more laundry.
  • No more dishes.
  • No more rent.
  • No more electric, garbage, water, internet, streaming bills.
  • No more grocery shopping (or food bills).
  • No more housekeeping.
  • No more home improvement projects.
  • No more packing & moving.
  • No more cooking (though Stacie does the lioness’ share of this).

That’s a lot of negatives, isn’t it? Should I be so happy about all the no-mores?

Let’s make a new list, shall we? This is the list I REALLY look forward to:

  • Meeting and getting to know new students.
  • Meeting and getting to know new peers.
  • Seeing, smelling, touching, hearing, and tasting 15 countries on 4 continents.
  • Exposing my children to the great big world around them and imbuing them with stories to last a LIFETIME.
  • All the relationships we build, destroy, rebuild, and strengthen along the way.
  • The lives we can potentially impact for the better throughout the world.
  • Making a difference beyond our regional geographic area.
  • Inspiring others.
  • The countless stories we will return with.
  • All the memories, photos, souvenirs, and experiences.
  • The photos, videos, and other artifacts I can share with students.

Jesus, when I make that list, somehow, it takes the fear down at least several notches…