With (deep) apologies to the great John McPhee for ripping off his title and slapping it on something far less ambitious, I am revisiting my earlier life for a few days. For the first time, my wife and son are out of town without me, and will be for nearly five days. They’re taking a brief vacation with my wife’s family; I’m using the long weekend to catch up on the book project. It’s a win-win, though I wish I could join them.
They left early this morning, and within moments, I found myself dropping into my old, well-trod, pre-fatherhood morning routine. I got dressed slowly, and read my e-mail in silence. Left the house nearly an hour later than usual, alone. Instead of taking the walk to day care, I used my old, pre-baby commuting route, across town by bus and then down. Paused for coffee at the place I used to go, by the bus stop. Got to work with everyone else, feeling like I was just getting warmed up, instead of arriving way early and already a little stressed. It occurred to me that I could meet an old friend for dinner on Monday.
Did I really live like this? I guess I did. It’s so much easier. Not better, mind you—I’ll miss my family by the end of the day, and we are planning nightly Skype sessions to keep up. Mostly I can’t believe how much time I used to waste on… oh, god, what’s it called again? Doing nothing. Yeah, I remember that.