Stop Packing Your Suitcase
Within a month I am going to have an “out of house” experience. I am going on a trip to the United Kingdom (UK) spending the majority of my time in Scotland.
I signed up for a walking tour and apparently not many other people wished to walk around, so that tour was cancelled and now I am on a Castles and Highlands tour. There are moments when I am just so excited I can hardly stand it and other times when am working very diligently to be prepared.
For the last 23 years, I have been the stay at home parent, while my partner went to work conferences, mountain climbs, and bicycle tours. We did some family camping adventures, but most of our travels involved going to Grandparent’s homes and enjoying their good company and hospitality. We did not wander far.
I made it a point to make sure that each of my children got a trip to someplace else on this planet in hopes of helping them be better global citizens and understanding human beings. I accomplished this.
When I got to thinking about how I wanted to spend my 60th birthday, I had no hesitation. I knew right away that I wanted to see my forbearer’s homeland – Scotland. My Parents had been reared in Canada and I have been from Ocean to Ocean in that country with family guidance.
I haven’t been exploring and relaxing in any other locations for a very long time. It is my turn, so to speak.
Now I am chronically packing my suitcases. This is problematic and is a form of anxiety produced by years of mothering.
These are things that need to fit into my trip suitcase:
- I can only take one suitcase of limited dimension and only 49 pounds – I did this before I can do this again.
- I can take only a day pack sized back pack or carry on because the larger ones with handle and wheels do not fit into the luggage racks of the bus
- I can only take what I can handle myself
- Passport, money and food, because I only get 1 meal per day – Breakfast.
- I do not know what clothing to take, but I do not wish to take very much – simple
- I did find an amazing pair of shoes which I can walk 6 miles in and no problems uphill and flat surface
- Voltage converter – very heavy
- My IT person says NO COMPUTER – so she bought me several smaller journals to write in and compile my posts.
- I have a nice compact digital camera and my exquisite photographer will be joining me
- Personal items and supplements – essential to life for me; must be in original packaging which is extremely heavy.
- Blog Care: guest bloggers, and written ahead posts for 2 blogs, and an IT person for maintenance. Many of these things are being checked off as I write today.
Now this really is not such a bad list and I am very organized, the problem comes when I mentally start packing the suitcase – over and over again. Did I remember the sun screen or the toothbrush? Then I reassure myself by saying I can purchase something if I forget. I move on to packing other items into my suitcase and worry about that item.
This anxiety does not get me packed or resolved. It just escalates the worry. The primary problem is that I am busy packing the suitcase and not thinking about the places I will go and the people I will meet or the things that I will see.
As of today I am stopping packing my suitcase and have set up a schedule for being prepared and enjoying my trip. I have used the blocking technique suggested by so many coaches and set aside a few minutes every day to look at the itinerary and look up on the Internet that location. I will physically take my suitcase out of the attic the weekend before my trip and pack it with clean and fresh gear. I have 3 more items to take care of and I have set aside 30 minutes each week to accomplish those items. Whew!
I am now in the present. I have stopped packing and packing that suitcase. I am feeling productive, excited, and as though I will be ready to go and enjoy my adventure.
How about you? How do you focus on the adventure and not the suitcase? How do you shift out of worry and get to the present when you find yourself going there?
Take a deep breath and stop packing your suitcase… truly I mean it…ah doesn’t that feel better?