No, not the drug kind of tripping.  Heard it from a spiritual brother that he participated in early 70’s experimentation with several forms of LSD, different types of mescaline, mushrooms and the like. When the trip was overly exciting, it would be tempered (complimented) with various types of barbiturates.  A favorite of several was a smooth mescaline trip combined with a quaalude (or two) to even things out — considered a good combo for rock concerts.  (all this is hearsay of course).

But that type of tripping is stupid.  It’s simply a waste of time.  Luckily it didn’t take (him) too long to realize that.  A waste of time because it’s not only non-productive time, but counter productive.  Like most things system altering, lost time is magnified by required recovery time.  Self induced trips of this nature are plain stupid.

Currently I’m on a very different trip.  Just spent the last few days in Indonesia.  I was tripping to get here.  Since it is exactly 12 hours time difference from New York, flying east or west makes no difference.  It’s a 24 hour trip from there to here plus a day change (or two).  It seems that I’ve been tripping more this year than recent years.  Not to be confused with tripping up, down, or out, tripping in this sense is spending an inordinate amount of unproductive time.  Or rather, the “investment” of unproductive time for future gain.

I’m sure there are lots of seasoned time-zone travelers who have a formula for staying productive every minute of long distance travel.  But sometimes, unproductive time is plane unavoidable (omg a pun).  Take leaving your home in the morning after a regular nights sleep, boarding a plane and traveling opposite the earth’s rotation through full daylight, into the night, through the entire night to the next day, through another day, and landing the second night.  When you land, you want to be able to sleep the entire night in the new time zone (your daytime) so that you can begin productive time in the new time zone.  It’s almost impossible to manage that time without being unproductive for part of it.  That’s tripping.

One day this week, I left the hotel, traveled back to the airport for a domestic flight from Jakarta to Semarang to see a factory.  The factory visit lasted two hours, but the trip was 12 hours from start to finish. Tripping.  With the Indonesian traffic and roads, and the hours spent bumping around, it’s impossible to think that you are going to read, or even sleep.  It’s simply hours of tripping.

It’s a guess on my part, but I’d think that many of us try to minimize tripping time.  We try to minimize the amount of dead-time we live, the unproductive time.  Certainly the counter-productive time.

Going on vacation and doing nothing could be very productive.  Watching television may be productive.  Both examples may contribute to required down time or recovery time.  But when time in front of the tv becomes excessive, one could argue that could be dead-time, even counter-productive.  Certainly tripping.

One of the biggest contributors to tripping for most of us is our commute time.  And many find ways to turn this tripping time into something productive, whether it’s sleeping, reading, listening to music, books, or being on the phone or just plain thinking, even meditating.  But when you are time-zoned out, most of those things are not done with any quality when your circadian rhythm is messed with.

Some things simply require first-hand knowledge. Hence, the importance of seeing things, meeting people, putting words in context, and updating a picture.  And double hence, the need for this trip.  Sometimes putting the picture into perspective is not without a little tripping.

Last year to the day today was my first day out of rad/chemo treatment. I had better be happy that I’m tripping now.  Because that entire treatment process was yet another kind of trip.

The good news is, several months later, even though the recuperation is still a work-in-process, a trip in itself, at least airline food is easier to gag down.  Before I left on this trip, I had a follow up appointment with Dr. Rad and the results of a CAT scan from last week showed all things stable.  All in all, a good meeting.  I also had the opportunity to visit the speech therapist who ran a battery of mouth and tongue tests and confirmed that, indeed, my tongue is somewhat bitched up.  I’ve got to stay on top of a series of tongue exercises, which I almost always forget to do.

Looking back to one year ago, the entire treatment process was a trip I wouldn’t wish on anyone.  It’s now logged into the nightmare category.  But I’m not tripping on it.  That would be stupid.  For now, I’m flying high onto the next leg of this trip hoping that writing this blog post is minimizing the tripping time, or at least helping me fool myself into thinking so.  And I hope I didn’t trip up by posting a bunch of blabber.


P.D. have you voted on your best week for the Capital to Capitol?

1 thought on “tripping

  1. Anonymous

    Fred: Not sure what type of tripping I be doin’ but on one of your websites it’s “Spinning” and another “Tripping” but they read and sound remarkably alike. Am I the only one toggling back and forth–is that tripping or spinning, I know not–or are others trying to break the code on this too. It’s like a narrative “isomer”. . . sometimes at the grocery store I feel as though I am in a time warp too. Anyway, love the philosophical rants, the mind-benting questions, challenges and observations and can hardly wait to hear more while in the pace line. . . . Best, swjr


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