Top Ten Ways I Know I’m Going on a Long Trip…

…my anxiety level is in charge of me instead of the other way around and I realize one way to deal with it is through humour.

  1. All notion of serving “food groups” (you know, fruits and veggies, grains, protein…) to my children goes out the window in favour of emptying the fridge and freezer.  We’ve eaten poultry for dinner almost every night for two weeks.  It must have been on sale at some point in my grocery-shopping past…
  2. I try to burn down the house by leaving the gas element on the stove top ON all night long (an unfortunate event that inspired this list for the blog post).
  3. My family complains about broccoli and tacos for breakfast but the worrying thing is that I see nothing wrong with it (see #1).
  4. I start over-functioning.  But only on some things (remember #2?) and really not on any useful dimensions at all to prepare me or my family for our trip.  Here’s a snapshot: prior to 9 am one weekday morning a couple of days ago I: fed the kids breakfast which involved two kinds of homemade pancakes (my youngest is on a wheat-free diet) and bacon (there’s that #1 again); made school lunches for said offspring of yes, tacos, which were a crumbly mess BEFORE they left our house but oh well…they’re done; planned this blog; made a batch of raspberry vinegar; and did a load of laundry.  In this list is there anything suggesting a family is packing up their lives in a couple of days?  Not one bit.
  5. Standing in the middle of the street in the pouring rain outside my vehicle with my left arm full of things and large-ish purse dangling from it, I am patting my pockets with my right hand looking for my car keys.  Nowhere.  Awkwardly, I reach across my body under my “stuff” in my left arm and dig in my purse.  WHERE are those keys?  I can feel myself getting annoyed.  Grr.  Then, peering past the things in my left arm and lifting my eyes from the interior of my purse,  I notice the keys are dangling from my left hand.  At this point, if you believe awareness is the first step, I realize I should not be driving a vehicle at all.  Or be responsible for children’s lives (#2 again).
  6. While chatting with an acquaintance on the street I suddenly notice my conversation partner looking at me expectantly…and I have no idea what I’m supposed to do or say.
  7. I keep wandering through the house looking for something but I can’t remember what it is.  I am hoping it’s going to announce itself so I can find it.
  8. I live in the part of the world where the weather changes a lot and it rains frequently.  The weather is a topic of daily conversation.  I find myself quite detached from whether it feels like it’s rained for forty days and forty nights and ambivalent over wondering when will summer arrive? (because I understand it’s NOT raining in Milan these days)
  9. I’m not happy unless I’m doing three things at once.  Last night it seemed super important to clean under the fridge (#4?).  Why?  Because people will be living in my house while we’re gone.  (See??  There was a good reason!)
  10. I am finding comfort and inspiration in traditional and nontraditional places.   Like a set of post-it notes – a gift from a friend – “Keep calm and carry on” it counsels me every time I’m near the phone in the kitchen.  Or in the words of someone wiser than me,  Brene Brown, “I am enough”.  Here’s her award-winning 20 min talk on “Vulnerability”
    .   And we’ll all get on that airplane.  And it will be amazing.  And what a gift it is…anxiety and all.

One response to “Top Ten Ways I Know I’m Going on a Long Trip…”

  1. Loved this! Laughed OUT LOUD throughout the entire blog. Can’t wait to read more. Hope everyone is doing well!

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