Last month, I was fortunate enough to go on a fabulous trip to Spain with my family. But packing for such a trip tends to put me in a bit of a tizzy that starts months before the actual trip.
First, I start making lists. Yes, lists as in plural. Not just one list, MANY lists. A list of suitcases and carry-ons and purses, and a list of meds, jewelry, toiletries, essential papers, clothes, shoes, trip related tasks, home related tasks, plans for Bob (the dog), and so on, and so on… I mean it’s a bit out of hand and quite OCD. But I am THAT person. You know, the one who wants to be comfortable, so I make sure to pack those three extra pairs of shoes. And I’m the one who absolutely has to have every kind of OTC medicine in case someone gets something “itchy,” or develops a cold, or a UTI. Oh yeah, and I’m the one with the antibacterial ointment to use in noses on the plane so we don’t sick. AND the one who has antibacterial wipes and hand gel for everything!
Just writing this, I can see that I’m a wee bit controlling and perhaps quite out of control with the lists and the planning. It’s actually the perfect metaphor for my life - it’s all about trying to control things that I have absolutely no control over. Rather than living in the moment, I frequently find myself trying to control the future. And all that does is make me fret about tomorrow and lose the enjoyment of the current day. Dumb, right?
Planning and organizing are essential in some areas of our lives, but not to the extent that it sucks the attention, energy, and joy out of our minds and our bodies. So, how am I working to tackle this issue? Well, first I make a list. One list. I make it either at night or in the morning, but not both. I write down things on my mind, tasks to get done, one or two goals for the day, and that’s it. If it’s not on the list I don’t worry about it that day.
I always, always try to carve out some time in early in the day for a nice hot beverage (perhaps some yummy Buckhead Tea Company tea) and a little quiet time. This sets the tone for me for the rest of the day. Slowly, I am learning to relax and to accept that there is really nothing in this world that we can control except how we respond to the world.
I can’t change the core of my being, but I can gently encourage myself to try a different approach - both to packing and with life!