Packin' up

So the J family was getting ready to go on vacation last week, like we do, and just like always, it was my job to get the family packed and ready to go.

I pack, R does most of the driving, nobody dies on the interstate, there's plenty of underwear for everyone, and everybody wins. 

Since overpacking is one of my superpowers, there really isn't any need for anyone else to get involved in that part of the process.  We've done this bunches and bunches of times by this point, and my typical timeline involves cleaning my house from top to bottom the week before we leave, followed by packing too much stuff, then unpacking it to make sure I didn't miss anything, then repacking it all and adding in a sweater, three more outfits and a stash of Doritos, then having all the suitcases ready and sitting by the door at LEAST 36 hours before our departure time.

This leaves me about three days to sit on the couch and worry whether or not I remembered everything, and provides ample opportunity to run through all possible worst-case scenarios in my head and to plan accordingly.  Should we take the pitchfork?  Don't mind if I do.

A couple weeks before we were getting ready to leave, I had all my to-do lists in place, which is a really crazy and elaborate system of my to do list iPhone app, some legal pads, a selection of different color post it notes, and some stuff written on the back of my hand in what I have since learned is permanent marker.  I had it planned to the day - NO! THE HOUR! - what I would need to accomplish every day in order to get ready to go.

And then...


I had a serious bout of what I refer to as "The Ennui," which for me only comes around once a year or so.  It's a combination of listlessness, general dissatisfaction at everything, lack of motivation and a desire to sit on the couch for long stretches while staring at my nook and ignoring everything in my house.  Usually it passes quickly, but this time, not so much.

Suddenly it was a week before we were to leave, and I hadn't done anything to prepare.

Then it was three days before we were to leave, and I hadn't done anything to prepare.

And then it was the day before we were to leave, and OH MY GOD I HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING TO PREPARE.

Full blown panic set in, and I calmed myself a little by reminding myself that this is probably how "normal people" pack for vacation.  "But you're not a normal person," whined the little voice in my head.  "Shut the hell up!" screamed the other, more reasonable voice.  "We have work to do!"

Random things thrown into a suitcase in a totally nonsensical order. 
 At least we were clothed. 

So I dragged out a couple suitcases and threw some stuff in them randomly, set them by the door and waited for R to get home from work so we could pack up the car.  When he saw the pile of stuff, which was quite literally 1/3 the size it usually is for a week away from home, he looked just slightly worried, then said "Well, this will be a breeze to pack and unpack."

What?!?!?  You mean my crazy really affects others?!?!  That's just insane.

But really, we got there, we had a good time, and not once did I long for the selection of winter clothes, small kitchen appliances or family keepsakes that I had left behind this time.

And unpacking and repacking when we were ready to go really was a breeze.

I'm sure there's a lesson that I should learn from all of this.

Like next year, I will start packing THREE WEEKS in advance!  

1 comment:

  1. My husband always makes fun of me when we go on a trip...I always overpack, because I'm so afraid of not having something I need. I will totally pack 5 pairs of shoes for a two day weekend.


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