"The Drive" is over. Phew.
The basic goals of the trip I've been on for the last several days were pretty simple. Fly to Phoenix, collect my dog, my car, and a few other things, drop the dog off in Austin with my son, and then drive home to Charleston by Monday. So, by that measure, the trip was a success.
But for everything, there is a price. The pace of the past week has been a significant amount of energy and effort, both of which seem to be catching up to me. I'm only now slowing down enough to recognize it but thankfully there is time now to recharge the batteries.
The most difficult part of the trip was the 1200 mile drive from Dallas to Charleston. I normally would have broken it up into two days, especially since it came on the heels of my 1300 mile drive from Phoenix to Austin to Dallas. But for a number of logistical reasons I decided to do it all in one day. I've done it once before and I can vaguely remember telling myself not to do that again, but sometimes we just need to do what we need to do.
I picked up Maggie, and brought her to stay with my son. I did retrieve my car (and passed the 150,000 mile mark with her along the way) and loaded my it with some things I needed to bring back with me. My son and I spent some quality time together and had a very nice dinner on Friday. I spent a precious little bit of time in Dallas with my mom - arrived at 7:30 Saturday evening. And then I set my alarm for 4am to start "The Drive".
Anyway - this too shall pass. It won't be my last road trip (God willing!) and I'll try not to push things too hard. Other than that - life goes on.
My birthday is tomorrow. The only reason I mention it is because it has become one of those annual milestones upon which other things revolve. For example, it was 3 years ago near my birthday when I was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma. So, now I have to go and get myself checked every six months. I just got back from my most recent check - no new spots to worry about. Phew.
I tend not to put too much emphasis on birthdays anymore. My big 5-0 birthday (ironically, the one where they found the melanoma) remains the best in memory but I suppose that any birthday divisible by 10 is kind of a big deal and any divisible by 25 is definitely a big deal. That birthday lived up to the hype. But this year my age is a prime number and prime numbers usually aren't major birthdays to celebrate. That is, all except the first one.
Last year I was driving from Austin TX to Harrisburg PA on my birthday. I stopped along the way and had a very pleasant dinner with a friend. A couple of years ago I was driving to the University of Virginia to speak there and had birthday dinner at a Cracker Barrel. Each is simple yet memorable in its own way.
This is also my 12th birthday since beginning transition. THAT amazes me.
Someone wrote to me on FB today and asked how to get involved in activism. Funny thing is, I didn't quite know what to say. There was a time when those efforts required a significant amount of my time and energy. Now, it doesn't. So it's tough to give advice to people asking for direction now. When I was more involved there weren't nearly as many opportunities for involvement as their are now. So, in a way, things are more difficult than they used to be...
Anyway, I'm tired so I'll keep this short. I'm still trying to get back into the groove after my trip. My doctor told me to get a good night sleep. I'll follow that advice. :)
This year I expect that things will be low key. At least, I hope so.