I Got This Feelin’ and It’s Back Again

Before leaving on a trip, I get a bit manic. I can’t seem to leave well enough alone. I create unnecessary errands to run, assuming that it’s worth going out of my way now in order to have a more relaxing trip. Now that we’re a mere week away from leaving for Italy, my mania is kicking in.

My craziness is disguised initially as normal trip preparation. I’ll start to looking at what to pack and decide that my shoes could be more comfortable. It’s not until I’m suddenly heading all over town looking for just the right pair and reading Zappos reviews that I realized that this is not rational. My shoes are fine.

Of course, after deciding my shoes are OK, I’ll find something else that’s just not quite right. My bag, for example. How much can it really hold? And is it truly secure? Eventually I’m poking around online and dropping by stores on my lunch break in search of a larger, more heavily zippered alternative.

The reality is that my shoes and my bag are just fine; it’s my mind that’s the problem.

It becomes truly apparent that I have gone off the deep end when I start fixating on things that aren’t related to the trip at all. Anything I’ve been putting off for a while begins to feel urgent. A year ago, I had to travel for work in early February and the night before I left, I thought I should probably just do my taxes.

This morning, after dropping off a cardigan to have a button sewn back on (another useless errand– I don’t need the sweater any time soon and it could have simply remained button-less indefinitely), I found myself thinking about melanoma. I should really call a dermatologist and get checked for skin cancer, I thought to myself. It’s not completely nuts, I do have fair skin and sunburn easily, but I know the thought only came up now because I’m in the midst of my ridiculous pre-travel freak out. I don’t even have a dermatologist.

At least at this point in my life, I know this is my downfall and I catch myself falling into Absurdistan. I don’t actually start my taxes two months early or contact a dermatologist.

This time around, I’m trying to teach myself a new pre-travel habit: to prepare for a vacation by starting the vacation early. Instead of feeding into my impulse to do more, I’m purposefully trying to do less. I’m reading the newspaper instead of reading online shoe reviews. I’m going out to lunch this week, rather than using my lunch breaks to pick up toothpaste and other last minute “necessities”.

We aren’t going to the wilderness after all. Anything I need, I can buy when we get there. But peace of mind can’t be bought in any store and there are no online reviews. I know I have it somewhere, I just need to find it.

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