Every time I go on a long trip– and I’ve been on many months-long trips, starting in my 20s– the week before I leave is just always crazy. I find it difficult to sleep. I have a ticker-tape of thoughts that won’t stop rolling through my brain. What if the folks I’m going to see don’t want me? Don’t have anything for me to do? Are too busy to see me? What have I forgotten? What if my 2T hard drive doesn’t get here today?
I am already missing my friends and family. Did I pick that fight last night, or was it HIS separate anxiety that did that? I’ve got my bags partially packed in the yoga room, with items that should go into the bags sitting on top or beside, to remind me of what I’ve already got. I have been using AnyList to keep track of the stuff I randomly remember.
Add to this packing and separation nutsiness the fact that I am working all this week with clients that need fairly major work done before I leave. I’m operating on the premise that electricity will be iffy, that Skype will work but can’t be really counted on, that the wireless internet will be as slow as I remember it from previous trips. All that adds up to a sketchy ability to serve the clients that I have here in the States. I’ve warned everybody, but it also means that the heavy lifting that needs doing with my two substantial clients just needs to get done this week and while I’m in New York.
One of my favorite things to do just before a big trip is to invite various friends to stop by the evening before I leave for a Packing Party. The Night-Before-Packing is something the overland travelers all did while I was on the road in ’78-’79. We would gather in the departing traveler’s room, offering graciously to take the stuff they were finished with off their hands. Half-bottles of shampoo, half-tubes of toothpaste, the baggie with laundry detergent they will no longer need because THEY will be HOME, where all those things already live in their pantries, medicine cabinets and utility closets. We, on the other hand, miles and miles from our own going-home party, were happy to add the lightweight supplies to our lightweight luggage.
This year, our singing group, Song Circle, meets the night before I leave, so I will have to do my packing on Friday night. I haven’t invited anybody to a Packing Party yet, but I’m thinking about it. It’s so nice to have that support as I peer over the precipice. Once I’m on the Conveyor Belt, that moving space that takes me from Point A to Point B, there is no precipice, no major life stride into the unknown that I’m feeling now. I’m just moving, and I keep moving until the Conveyor Belt stops at my destination and I’m ready for whatever adventure awaits.