Small piles of clothes stretch before me. Three pairs of shoes and hiking boots, flip flops. shorts, t-shirts, socks; long pants, long-sleeved shirts, polo shirts; hats, glasses, food bars, pens, 3 x 5 cards, and phone. Behind me, two duffle bags and two suitcases with wheels in various states of fatigue.
We leave in a few hours for two weeks away, most of them in high mountains; many days, we’ll be far from stores and supplies. Only one bag or case will go.
The rush of pre-vacation tying off loose ends, finishing projects, mowing, cleaning, rearranging, covering, throwing out, backing up, covering up, stopping, and starting has left little space for thought now. Upon counting travel days, I’m short heavy socks. Need more. What else? How often will we shower? Will the water be warm? How cold will the rooms be at night? What will I sleep in? What clothing layers will work best (temperatures swing from 25 degrees at dawn to 65 degrees at noon)? Will we be eating in restaurants? How dressy? What food will be available in the places we’ll sleep? How many food bars should I bring? Should I bring my own Grape-nuts (Seriously? Are you listening to yourself?) Will there be milk? Will it be cold? Are these questions even important?
And: How much does all of this stuff weigh, anyway? ….. Too much. Can’t take it all.
Start again… .How many days? …
I’ve known this trip was coming for months. MONTHS! Yet… oh, wise one…Here we are, a few hours before departure. Where can I get socks at this time of night? Maybe I can get them, and maybe a heavier sweat shirt, on the way to the airport, finish packing in the car or when we get there…
…like we do sometimes before meetings and sales calls. Knowing they’re coming. Knowing we need time to anticipate, to plan, to pack the right stuff. Yet, minutes before the conference call or in the car on the way to the meeting, we’re pulling stuff together, knowing we’ll have to multitask, half-listen, and stammer in the meeting while we’re looking for the files we need on our tablets or laptops or blow smoke in the call because we didn’t have time to do the research or pack – “Has anybody got the most recent version of the proposal…..?”
That’s all I got. What would it have taken? 30 minutes or an hour of research to really think it through? I’m going to shiver with cold feet through eight nights in unheated sleeping spaces 10,000 feet up because I failed to take 30 minutes time when it could have counted to think.
Whoa! Happy trails, pal.
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