We have arrived at the pre-trip panic.
Me & mine are taking a vacation beginning June 6. It will last roughly two weeks. It will span half the United States. It will be carried out largely in our family car. It will take us to relatives and national monuments and beaches and popular attractions. It will not, despite what my monkey brain is trying to convince me, be the source of my untimely death or mental breakdown.
Part of my internal freakout stems from the fact that this is not only the first trip since being slammed with a chronic pain condition but a major, intense trip that could very well wipe me out even if I were fit as a fiddle; however, I can tell you that most of this is just me pre-trip. Don’t get me wrong: I love to travel. I ADORE traveling. And once I’m actually out in the field or on the plane or in the thick of it, I do, largely, okay. But pre-trip? Gah. I become a constant mental noodle, usually of things that could go wrong. I have to resist the urge to shop my way out of my panic, buying things that could potentially save me. But while excursions with me are best done on the fly with as little prep time as possible, this trip isn’t possible to do ad hoc. And so I am planning, and gnawing more than a bit on my own arm.
What to pack? What not to pack? How many lists? Lists of what? Snacks? Timetables? First aid kits? Shoes? Does everyone have proper clothing? What books to bring? What music to put on the iPod? What to pack in the laptop? What, what, what? Will all of this shit fit in the car? Oh, and add to this that our car was in an accident last week, nearly totaled, and is still in the shop until later this week. And still needs new tires. And . . . .
So I’m getting out of the house. I’m taking Anna to Des Moines, and we’re going to Costco. We aren’t members, and it’s going to have to be amazing for me to join, but we’re going to go investigate. We’re going to listen to the iPod in the rental car on the way down, and we’re going to bond and laugh and have fun, and then we’re going to amble around the big warehouse. Then we’ll come home and I’ll sew all her shorts which are too big for her nonexistent waist. I’m not sure exactly what this is going to do for me, but it seems like a plan, and it will probably be soothing to look at bulk items. Hopefully I walk out feeling well-stocked and prepared, even if I’m actually not. And then, maybe, tomorrow I can write instead of freaking out. I have no idea if this tactic is going to work, but I figure it’s worth a shot.