Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Heading Out

I was going to be done packing, and nagging my traveling companions to pack, yesterday.  Rrriiiight.

It's not like I haven't been busy.  Heck, I haven't even touched Bejeweled Blitz in days.  But I still haven't opened my suitcase.

I've been up to my ears in tasks and projects, as we prepare to leave.  But that's really the problem.  Or at least part of it.  Some part of my primitive brain responds to impending journeys as though I were saying goodbye to my life as I have known it, as though it were my last chance to set things right.  If I hold true to form, I will be dashing in from the last yoga class I can attend for 12 days; giving the kitchen a final once-over (as though my husband and my dog would be keeping it up in my absence!); throwing a few more last-minute items in my carry-on; completing nonessential work tasks; and being driven to the airport in a frazzled state, my energies spent before I board the plane at mid-day.  Since I have to get through two flights and a layover with a nervous teenager and his sibling in tow, this is probably not the condition I should be striving for.

Maybe my ancestors survived their transatlantic relocations by over-preparing.  Maybe their psyches were soothed in some endurance-promoting fashion by all the loose ends they tied up before departing.  But really, as much as I have to leave town, particularly in recent years,  can I afford the degree of intensity with which I approach embarkation?

The obvious answer is no.  Nor do I want to continue to be the kind of person that performs this comic ritual with regularity.  So today, I'm going to attempt to stop this runaway train, or at least to slow it down as it careens toward that all-too-familiar crash.  I'm going to try for good-enough packing, and let go of my perfectionistic goals and the tendency to continue adding "just one more thing" to my to-do-before-leaving list.  And I'm going to take some deep breaths and some rest breaks as I move through the next 27 hours, so that I can reach my destination without unraveling.

At least, that's the plan.

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