I was completely fried, a bit battered and broken after finishing that last job in NOLA.
I spent a lot of my first week back in Atlanta sleeping. The second week was spent unpacking and then packing for another cross-country adventure.
Cindy did the lion's-share of the driving on the way there; but it was just Skye and me on the way back.
I still haven't fully recovered from the crazy driving of the year before; points in my back, upper and lower quickly flare up and my sciatica kicks in pretty fast.
Upon our return, there was more unpacking and then packing and planning for Burning Man.
August 15 near Atlanta, GA
Just finished registering Skye for a home school co-op; now off to pack a truck to drive to Burning Man with a bunch of pirates and circus folk
Timing IS Everything
Going to Burning Man this year wasn't going to be easy for us as a family to co-ordinate. But then again, that was the case the last two years as well. But some reason, it felt different this year.
It felt selfish and indulgent.
It seemed more expensive than before.
The glamped-out tent was certainly part of it. Buying a second generator seemed unnecessary, but then again a tool I could use at work. In theory, it could pay for itself several times over. I tried to amortize both these things in my mind but at the end of the day, it seemed like pretty major purchases at a time we were trying to save up for a down-payment on a house.
We were flying my mom and Skye down to New Orleans.
But hey, I wouldn't be paying for travel because I had agreed to drive there and back. Which as it so happened meant that Skye would be missing her first week of classes at the home-school co-op.
It didn't feel right, but too much had been put in motion to easily back out.
I felt guilty and I never was able to shake that feeling.
Over the years, Cindy and I have come up with all sorts of "rules" in regards to how much time we can and should spend apart and time and time again we bend and break them.
We were certainly guilty of this again in our recent forays.
I think we both subconsciously factored in the intense couple of years where we were together so much; the few months the three of us stayed in Best Western Suites while I was on Maze Runner, all the camping we did together, the weeks spent together on the road.
It was intense and we certainly did some unique family bonding but it doesn't make up for the long stretches of separation we've had this last year or so.
I was already missing my family before I got in the truck to head off to Burning Man.
"Going Home" to Black Rock City never seemed so polar opposite to how I was feeling.
Fortunately for me, I had my Circus Combustus/ Funk Pirate family to help me soldier on.
They never made me feel lesser for not being there for so much of the preparatory stages.
I was included without question in the fire performance, even though I had never lit up.
Their excitement and energy was contagious and I began to think I hadn't made a horrible mistake.
I was going to Burning Man and it was going to be awesome.
It was going to be epic.
Age Matters When You're on the Outside Looking In
I was feeling old this time out to the Playa.
Being teamed up to drive with a 22-year old dynamo didn't necessarily help that feeling.
I tried to remember myself at her age.
It was impossible.
By that time, I'd sold out on my dreams and was a cog in the machine.
Oh to do it all over again.
What would have I changed?
I can't say.
That would be beyond foolish.
Then there was the part about camping with a bunch of circus performers.
I had dabbled with various circus arts for longer than many of them had been alive.
I was an usher for Le Cirque du Soleil when they had but one tent. It was a big deal when they got a second tent for concessions.
But I never focused on any skill or talent.
I had probably been on more apparatus and played with more "circus" things than most everybody there and yet was by far the least capable of performers.
I really had nothing to offer.
I was back in a very familiar place.
I was on the outside looking in.
That was the case as a straight male set decorator and then again as the primary home school educator who happened to not be the mom.
I was very used to and comfortable being an outsider.
That is my normal.
Ironic though, being an outsider at Burning Man.
I had an amazing time out there in the desert, as well as the trek to and from.
I made some new friends, got to change acquaintances to real friendships.
I had a lot of ups and downs.
I wasn't always at best but never at my worst.
This is but the first of several posts in regards to Burning Man 2014.
I'm trying not to be too envious of those whose experience was so much more positive than mine.
And I hope that I've not been too much the "Debbie Downer"