There have been days - many days - since March of 2020, when I despaired that I had accomplished absolutely anything constructive. Nothing to move the needle. Nothing to justify my taking up space on the planet.
And then I’d say to myself, “Self. You always feel that way this time of year”. Maybe it’s the seasonal affective disorder that I have suffered from since before it even had a name. (For the record: a type of depression related to the shortening of daylight hours experienced as the earth moves closer to the winter solstice.)
Or maybe it’s just an understandable feeling of helplessness after being unable to follow my usual routine, earn a living, remember family birthdays, observe the simplest of annual rituals.
What if - when all this is over - I can actually stop spinning my wheels and embrace my old resilience?
So after much anguish and teeth gnashing, I forced myself to actually sit down and prove to myself that I’m not really going crazy (or - horrors! - the laziest tour operator on the planet.)
So here is my list:
- renewed my passport
- renewed my known traveler status
- paid my ABA dues
- paid my Travel Alliance annual investment
- renewed my business liability insurance
- renewed my travel insurance certification
- cancelled all tours for the current year and rebooked for next year (twice each)
- developed new tours, and booked them
- wrote and posted a new Trail Talk every month
- posted periodic newsletters, admittedly with slim pickins, but with at least one new tour
- fulfilled my obligation to TAP to submit my TravelMetrics (such as they were) on deadline
- conducted two tours for a TAP Partner whose own tour directors were experiencing burnout at the end of the summer season
- hosted a TAP Into Tuesdays webinar (November edition)
- filed my taxes
- wrote and mailed my annual holiday letter
- attended sometimes daily zoom meetings, zoom travel conferences, conference calls, ad nauseam
I do most of the things on this list every year (except for all the zoom meetings). But
I was actually surprised that the list was so long, and included some mostly bonafide, grown-up obligations.
Maybe I deserve to live on the planet after all!