Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A different perspective

Routines are comfortable and can provide some structure to the calendar, but what happens if you break them?

Since 2005 there's an event that has been part of my life in late winter/early spring. The first time I attended I didn't really know what I was getting myself into, but I enjoyed it and expanded my time at it in the intervening years. It's something I've come to look forward to.

A month or so ago I booked the hotel room for my two separate trips to it. I found a very appealing rate on the room and prefer to have that locked in. I can always tweak the dates if necessary.

On Monday I finally got around to submitting my request for accreditation. In the past it's been a perfunctory step. I found out that's not entirely true this year. Sure, I'd likely be approved under this new system, but the benefit carries a couple extra (and significant) burdens that haven't been attached. Whether in a moment of pique or clarity, I decided that the new method was not worth the hassle it would create. Suddenly, I was strongly considering not attending at all something I'd been looking forward to.

I examined other options and estimated my typical expenses. OK, maybe I don't skip out on the whole thing but curtail my attendance by at least half, if not more. Mmm, you know what, do I even want to bother with it at all? Maybe I'd be better off putting that time and money toward going to the Toronto International Film Festival for the first time. Plus, if I don't go to this thing in March during the break, it gives me some other potential days that I can visit my brother in the New York City area, assuming he's still working there then.

And just like that part of my annual routine may be off the calendar. Granted, I've been kicking around the idea for the NYC trip for awhile. (I've never been there, and the time is right since I'll have a place to stay for free if I go. My brother's assignment is only for six months maximum and is nearing its end.) One of the sticking points had been fitting it in with the following two long weekends being at the aforementioned event. Since I may have to wait until three weeks before booking a flight, some flexibility is welcome.

Plus, I've been dying to get to Toronto for years. If I can put what I would have spent in the first quarter of the year toward the September film festival, it makes the latter much more feasible. The more I've thought about this, the more I would rather allocate the money to it.

Finally, if I don't bother with what has been a regular thing on my schedule, maybe I can get down to see the Reds play on the opening weekend of the season.

It's funny how one domino unexpectedly falling has given me a different perspective on something I was doing out of force of habit. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it. I did, although it gave me some aggravations too. With the detriments increased slightly more, suddenly there are some other exciting things I may do instead. Before Monday at least two of them would have fallen under the unlikely column.



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