Going away on a whim used to include making sure I had my toothbrush and a change of clothes, and depending on the time of year, my bathing suit and sunblock.
When my child was born, I tried to keep spontaneity alive, and suffered for it. Oh, no – I forgot his red blanket! We have to turn around! He won’t sleep without it, therefore I won’t sleep without it, therefore anyone with me will be miserable – I’ll make sure of that… Suffering in silence just isn’t fun.
Today, my child grown, and no longer needing his red blanket – I think – probably takes off on a lark all the time. May the pox of child-rearing fall on his house!
I now pack a minimum of three days worth of crap. It’s ingrained. I’ve tried to make do, to be free again, but I need the earplugs – and this lamp. And this ashtray… I can’t sleep without them. Sure, we could pick some up at the store, but for me, it would be steal them from the store because our budget is so tight – yeah, yeah, first world problem – there is no room for anything else. The credit cards are maxed, and the goal is to pay down, not add. No, not even $5 which will be closer to $25 by the time the debt is paid down.
A detailed list is a must for me, and the stress surrounding trips takes a lot of fun out of it, for sure. Personal items, check. Three pairs of underwear for two days. Yes. Two pant choices, three shirts, two pairs of shoes, and my sneakers. Should I bring those shoes? Will I want my sundress?
My mind is an unforgiving landscape, a dark back alley where the worst of humanity gives me a wide berth. You crazy, woman!
Snacks! We’re on a budget! Pack sandwich making supplies in smaller containers. Don’t forget the water! Who knows if it’s drinkable where we’re going! Beach stuff, bug spray, sunblock. Holy crap, we almost forgot the tent! I guess we could have slept under the stars for a night. Except, we’ll be in a crowded campground with screaming babies and marauding teens. Wildlife bothers me much less – at least they’re quiet.
My S.O., on the other hand, packed one day’s worth of clothing, and his toothbrush.
He’s also never been a parent.
© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current