I believe travel is an amazing gift. I don’t get enough of it and get an even smaller dose of it without kids. I’m taking a business trip this week and at some point I’ll be excited. That being said, anxiety is also a fabulous tool and it’s one I use so often to make my own life miserable. That’s right, I manage to sabotage my own life in ways others only thought imaginary. Here’s a quick run down of my travel preparation:
First I make lists.
Lots and lots of lists. The trip is two months away and I’m making lists. I’m never going to use them but I have to make them to feel like I’m preparing. Without these lists my travel will be terrible! Without a list of each charger and device I’ll never remember to take my phone! You know the phone that I use everyday and I haven’t left the house without in, I don’t know, four years. If I don’t make a list I won’t remember that I should only wear comfortable shoes! It’s not that I ever wear uncomfortable ones but still I need a list that reminds me that my shoes need to be comfortable.
Next I clean out my closet.
Why on earth I need to clean out my closet I will never know. I need to take stock of all the clothing I have so I can choose the perfect clothing to wear? I always end up making a larger mess than I what I started with. I have three bags…1-trash….2-donate because it’s the wrong size…3-and maybe this will fit next year. I do however manage to get out my luggage in this step. I do this a good month before I go anywhere.
Clean out luggage.
I really never know what I will find. This time it was a bag of candy that an oily friend gave me during last years convention. Helpful hint, York peppermint patties are totally good even though they’ve been in my luggage for a solid year. That’s scares me a little bit.
Clean out wallet.
Will I need my local shaved ice place customer punch card half way across the country? What if we choose to stop there on the way home? At five am on a Sunday I may want a shaved ice. Should I carry my kids social security cards? What if my wallet is stolen? It’s more likely while I’m gone that my five year old will use them in her Barbie cash register and I’ll never see them again except in tiny triangles that she cut up and will display them to me when I get home. “Look momma I made triangles while you were gone.”
Try to find good hiding spot for all my wallet stuff.
I’m going to forget this immediately and have to send off for new social security cards and everyone reading this knows that is what is going to happen.
Make detailed plans for everyone that isn’t going.
“Kids go here and on Thursdays we have academic practice and then there is these educational packets I do every single day we stay home. Story needs that or I don’t know what will happen but it’s not good so just do it.” I say.
My husband nods his head and pretends he’s going to do it and both of us know he is certainly not going to do it. Bless him for even pretending.
Two weeks prior- wash every article of clothing I own although I only need enough for five days.
Lay it all out on the bed. I know it fits because I literally wore it the day before but just in case it shrunk in the dryer I try it all on together. Just in case the navy shirt decided to not match the navy shorts for some reason unbeknown to me have to make sure. Make sure to have extras shirts, underwear, shoes….feel silly and put the extras back into my closet because why would I take all that? Right? That’s ridiculous. But you know, I could spill something on this shirt and then I wouldn’t have a backup shirt and I could never find one in my size in all of Utah. I’d better pack it again just to make sure.
I still have a week to go.
Realize a cat has been sleeping inside my open suitcase that’s been laying in my bedroom floor. Wash clothing again.
Worry about every detail. Worry about each and every outcome. Worry that I didn’t pack enough underwear. Worry that I’ll have to go commando in any situation. Worry about money. What if my lotion leaks out in my suitcase? I’d better put that inside a ziplock bags. Worry my cards will be declined for any reason whatsoever. Worry that my luggage will be over weight on the flight. Apply oil because of worry. Worry that I’ll get food poisoning. What if my suitcase is next to a heater and my deodorant melts? Ziplock that puppy too. Worry about the plane crashing. Worry until I’m up at midnight writing this instead of sleeping. Worry until I break out in hives. You know, just everything needs to be in a ziplock bag or maybe I should double bag it, yes, double bags. Worry so much that I also wrote out a tiny will (it’s in my notepad on my iPad if my iPad survives whatever killed me). If I got paid to stress out and worry I could spend my entire life doing nothing but traveling. It’s an art form for me. I combat it with oil and prayer.
Realize that I’m leaving tomorrow and I’m still not finished worrying.
Or packing. I’VE BEEN PACKING FOR A MONTH AND I AM NOT DONE!
(My husband went on a trip without me in April. Not only did he not pack his bag he asked me to pack it twelve hours before he left and when I asked him what he wanted to wear he said, and I quote, “I do not care….shirts and pants.” I actually saw that coming a mile away and had already done it the day before and I replied, “it’s already packed and ready.” That very bag is in his closet still unpacked right this minute. I hope the only food in it is peppermint patties.)