Thursday, August 16, 2007


Does anyone else get completely overwhelmed prior to leaving for vacation? I reach such a state of anxiety that whenever someone asks me if I am getting excited about leaving, all I can think of is ~ Do you have any idea what I need to get done before I leave, NO, I am not excited! And imagine as I am verbalizing this to the poor person who only expected a Hell yeah I'm excited!, that my voice is reaching a pitch dogs would run from.

I make lists, a trait I inherited from my mother. Lists that include what clothes I need, down to the number of pairs of underwear, other miscellaneous items (jewelry, camera, the-purse-to-go-with-the oufit-for-the-event-we-are-traveling-to, you get the idea) what I will wear on the plane (for this, I must also take into consideration the temperature when I land, and whether or not I'll be able to change clothes once I get there), & what I am bringing in my carry-on.

My list of toiletries is made in the order in which I use them. I go through my morning routine in my head and make my list: cleanser, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, loofah (I can not properly wash & exfoliate my body with just a washcloth), razor, contact case, saline solution, toner, moisturizer, hair smoother, etc. It has only been within the past couple of years that I have come to grips with the fact that there are in fact STORES at my final destination, and if, heaven forbid, I forget something, I have the ability to purchase a replacement.

The anxiety over what clothing to pack is a big, big issue. There is just so much potential for error: overpacking, underpacking, inappropriate for weather conditions, outfit is not dressy enough for an event (usually a wedding), and don't even get me started on shoes. I need to have choices (but not too many!) because what if I'm feeling fat that day & the dress I was planning on wearing just won't work anymore? Luckily, this trip (a working-vacation) I am not attending a single planned event, thus requiring no special wardrobe considerations on my part. Thank goodness, and pass the suitcase! You have no idea how liberating that is for someone like myself.

I am heading to Seattle to visit my very best girlfriend Tanya for a few days, and then to Little Rock to see Miss Jerusalem, my other very best girlfriend. My only worry is that I am heading into 100 degree weather, and I live in Alaska, where today it's supposed to hit 78 degrees and I groaned.

On a side note, last weekend when Honey asked if I had walked Porter while he was at work, and I said that ~ No, it was too hot, Honey said ~ Oh, right. I forgot that once it hits 70 degrees, all dog walking ceases. Did you know that in Florida, they only have to walk their dogs, like 4 times a year?? I think I replied with a ~ Oh, really, smart ass?

At any rate, I don't own much by way of summer clothes, and my one pair of sandals is seriously about to fall apart. To top it off, I've been gaining weight (probably 8 lbs or so) ever since I went off birth control so I feel self-conscious in all my clothes. You can't hide belly rolls under a tank top, you know. I fear I am going to absolutely melt into the Little Rock sidewalk while wearing one of my 3 summer tops, but at least I won't have to worry about what to wear!!

My (self-diagnosed) ADD also brings along a certain amount of packing anxiety: am I bringing enough to keep me occupied, both on the plane and once I get to where I'm going? I always, always overpack my carry-on, and I don't see that ever changing. Even though I tend to sleep on the plane (Honey gets the window, I get to sleep on his shoulder, it's a system that works beautifully for us), I have to have a sufficient amount of things to look at. I'm really big on bringing things "just in case", and despite the fact that I sleep on the plane & all this over-packing accomplishes is a sore shoulder, I will continue to overpack my carry-on. Just in case. I think a lot of it is needing to have a bit of home with me; my magazines, my decorating books, a favorite photo ~ the familiarity helps to keep me from freaking out that I can't just go home at the end of the day.

This trip, as excited as I am to see my girls, will be hard because I won't be traveling with Honey, and I really love to vacation with Honey. We travel well together. Something will usually happen, and instead of taking our stress out on one another, it's us against the world. Things happen like our bag gets lost (the bag with MY stuff), or we oversleep and nearly miss our flight causing me to nearly lose it on the AK Airlines lady guarding the security line who tells me "no cutsies!" after I beg her to let us at the head of the line because we are at the end of the line and they are announcing "final boarding", and then she let in a lady with a kid & stroller. It was then that I learned that having a baby was the key to getting ahead in line, and I vowed to get me one of those.

ANYWAY, Honey squeezed my hand as I cried, cursing the mean AK Airlines lady under my breath, positive that we were going to miss our flight, and since we used mileage, what on earth were we going to do?? As much as I wanted to, I did not yell at the AK Airlines lady because I knew she had the ability to keep us off our flight. That right there is growth, people. We did in fact make our plane ~ we were those people who take their seats moments before the plane rolls away from the gate. I was so relieved, I didn't even care, and I slept like a baby all the way to Seattle.

I leave Monday, I think; it's been a while since I looked at my reservation, and while I do have my freak-out moments, I'm doing okay with leaving-preparations. Leaving Monday gives me the whole weekend to pack, clean house, make sure the bills are all paid, tie up my loose ends, etc. My work is pretty well caught up, I've trained Mary to do payroll for me, and I'm trying to remind myself that anything that may go wrong is fixable when I get back. Also, I have this really cool thing called a cell phone that Mary can reach me on anytime she needs to! Phew!

And, tomorrow is my birthday ~ woo hoo!!


jeanetta said...


it was 106 yesterday. but if i know jeru she will be where the AC is. lol.
low on clothes? well that just means you ge tto do alot of shopping. lol.
looking forward to seeing you again.

Jerusalem said...

Oh yes, we will be deep into the AC and cold beverages. And Jeanetta is right - you can always shop when you get here. I know the best places for the best deals. And well there is always Old Navy and Target when you just need something quick and cheap!
I cannot wait!! Happy Birthday sweet chica!!!

Nancy said...

Poor, sweet Tracy.... Poor... poor... sweet Tracy.... Is traveling part of our genes? Everything you wrote is me, too. I am so sorry! I, too, pack from what I use starting in the beginning of the day! I too, have to pack shoes for each "outfit" and by "outfit" I mean which pair of jenes and which top. I, too, overpack my carryon to the point that I can barely carry it. Never mind that I never actually use anything in it. It's there in case I might need it... BUT, the good news is.... when you get older, like in 23 years.... you'll get smarter about traveling. So have heart. It won't be like this forever! :)

Tip Junkie said...

I hope you have some great girl time on your vacation. I get overwhelmed in the begining too. However, with my 3rd kiddo I've adopted the motto of "If I forgot it, I'll just buy it". That's taken so much pressure off me. Travel safely!