A month ago I wrote about being stressed about an upcoming trip. I ended by saying
“I’ll just have to manage the stress the best I can with careful planning and hard work.”
Right. So, here I am on the eve of my trip. Most things went pretty well. The work issues I was dealing with back then are resolved. There are new issues, to be sure, but they are more along the lines of typically stressful and not super stressful.
My passport came back and I was able to sign it and turn it right back around with the Brazil Visa application. Then it was a waiting game…the Brazilian embassy is not very quick…but it actually came back with a week to spare.
I rescheduled my son’s dentist appointment, although I hated doing it…that is always a 3 month slip which totally throws off the whole strategy of going twice a year. He’s freshly off at college and doesn’t have any way to get home on his own. I kept my daughter’s appointments and they’ll be going with a note…leave it or lump it, the dentist office will have to decide!
I’ve got all my kids started off to a good start at school, paperwork finished, supplies bought, new shoes to wear, and checks written. Despite the best laid plans, however, there’s always a glitch. Mine was that my childcare fell through about a week before my trip. My husband is on the first of two back-to-back trips this week, he’ll be home less than 24 hours this weekend, then off to a training program next week. I briefly thought about the girls handling things on their own, but that created more stress than finding help elsewhere.
The three close encounters I’ve had with nature this past month may have something to do with feeling stressed about leaving them on their own. First, the dog got in a fight with a raccoon. How would the kids handle that on their own? What if they got bitten and got rabies? Then there was my wasp sting…ok that was me, but what if it were one of the girls? What if they swelled up and needed to go to the ER? And then there was the bat…poor little guy, killed with a mighty and skilled swing of a tennis racquet by my husband. Another rabies risk! And what about the gas stove? Okay, I could go on and on about the dangers of leaving them on their own. I’ve just let my first one fly from the nest…I’ll hang on to the girls pretty tightly for now!
I’m grateful for friends and family who are stepping in to stay with my girls. I want them to feel as comfortable as possible, so of course I made sure the spare rooms were made up with clean linens and everything is as pleasant as possible. I made sure that all the laundry is done and put away, and same with the dishes. My girls can cook, clean, do laundry and dishes, but reluctantly. Maybe they’ll step it up while I’m gone, but I thought I’d set everyone off on the right foot.
So, here I sit, on the eve of my trip writing about it instead of packing my suitcase! I’m still worried I’ll forget something, like paying the property taxes. They are due while I’m gone and I’ll have to have someone drop the payment in the box after the banks close on the 14th. What is with my crazy city making the taxes due the day before payday anyway? I don’t need that stress!
Once again, I’ll take a deep breath and BREATHE! Ahh. A friend from work just got back from Brazil and texted me, “you’ll have so much fun!” Ok, I can deal with that! Sure, I’ll land and head straight to work and subsequent days will start at 6:30 a.m., but I’ll still get a little time for sightseeing and I’m really looking forward to finally meeting my South American colleagues. And meanwhile, I have the help of loved ones to keep things safe at home.
Find the Joy in the Journey and don’t shun the hard work it takes to get there!