And so we are home. And jet-lagged. And creaky from the plane ride.
A funny thing happened as we stood in line at passport control in Lisbon: RI President Ron and Jetta Burton were in the line just ahead of us. They were both wearing open-collar shirts and khakis, weighed down by backpacks, and looking every bit like “regular” travelers. They were on the same flight to Newark with us. Like us, they had taken a few days after the Convention to do a bit of travel in Spain. Like us, they had celebrated the July 1 changeover mostly by ignoring it; but unlike us, they were on their way to Chicago where “his” year will officially start. We were on our way to Maine and on to whatever comes next.
Peter Johnson, who has a way with words, said that after July 1 hits, an immediate Past District Governor has a number of thank you notes to write, and then an incredibly empty calendar. It’s going from full-speed-ahead into neutral, with no slowdown.
Of course that’s an overstatement, because I will continue to have responsibilities at the District level; I look forward to getting re-engaged with my club, and challenges at the Zone level await. (As a reminder, clubs are made up into Districts, and Districts into Zones.) But preparing for and being a District Governor is something that has been on the calendar and on my mind for four years; it’s like a graduation: Glad to see the finish line, but vitally aware that the challenges have just begun.