Monday, January 29, 2007

It's only Monday and I'm already overwhelmed

Maybe "freaking out" is a better term than "overwhelmed".

I'm traveling later this week, work-related. I actually enjoy traveling in general, even for work purposes, but this enjoyment only happens once I am on my way to my destination. Before that, I'm a panicky, stressed-out mess.

Part of it is that I get all freaked out by all the additions to the to-do list that happen around traveling. Making sure all the important stuff is printed out. Double-checking flight times and hotel reservations. Running errands. Laundry. And packing. That's the biggest source of my stress. I hate, hate, hate packing, for reasons I've never fully understood.

It doesn't help that I have an absolutely full schedule tomorrow, which is the day before I leave. So I'm trying to get as much done today as I can, which means I'm doing my major stressing out today (hopefully) rather than tomorrow. Not helping things is that there's a bunch of work stuff I wanted to finish before I left, but there's this one thing that is of course taking about 10 times longer than I anticipated, so the rest of the stuff is not going to be done before I leave.

(Actually, to be fair, I'm not as stressed out about the work not getting done, because it should be relatively easy to do in transit or during down time.)

The dumb thing is that, except for the packing part (which always takes me much longer than it should), I know that the stuff I need to do really doesn't take up that much time. But I still stress about it anyway.

Wednesday can't come soon enough.....


WiseWoman said...

You can ease some of the packing stress with some tricks:
* I have a "ditty bag" with toiletries packed and ready to go at all times - when I use up the shampoo or such, I replace it as soon as I get home. I also keep stuff like hosiery (which I almost only wear when travelling) on hand. So emergency packing is easy - PJs, dress, stockings, bag, shoes, bye.
* I always print out the reservation stuff when I make them - and have green plastic folder thingies on my desk, one for every trip. I put *all* paperwork in this. The green is easy to find, even in a mess :)
* I have a plastic folding box set up in which I dump things when I find myself saying "Oh gosh, yes, I want to take this to Antwerpen with me". So when I have to pack, the only problem is stuffing all the junk into my suitcase.

Clyde said...

I am also miserable the days or week leading up to travel just when everyone else is excited for me which only increases my stress levels.

Michael Flessas said...

Here's what I would do if I were you:

1) Learn to do Soto Zen.

2) Get the book I suggested long ago: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Zen Living, 2nd Edition Gary R. McClain and Eve Adamson (Paperback - Oct 5, 2004). You need the book. That is obvious to me.

3) Cut the craft projects and focus on the "essential-essential" only.

4) I find it so odd that people must travel physically when conversations and meetings can take place online. It's so seriously wasteful (the fuel for example) and
the time when nearly the same can be done online. Keep this principle in mind in all and everything: Shorten the distance between points A and B were distance is also time to reduce systemic waste. You like tight code? Create a tight life too. Code your life, so to speak.

5) Create a travel list so you just run down the check list and don't have to re-invent the wheel when it comes to doing what must be done if you must travel. You need, Jane, a "travel algorithm." Type in "Travel check list xls" but without the quotes and find something useful upon which to build and/or alter for your personal future use.

6) Lastly, with regard to some untoward comments somebody made online about you, well, forget it because it's not worth allowing people like that to "rent space" in your mind.

Jane said...

hee! I wasn't expecting packing tips in response to my post, but hey, thanks, WiseWoman and Michael! WiseWoman, I do keep toiletries all packed, but I like your box idea---I may try that one! And you're right, Michael, I do need a "travel algorithm"! Or at least I need to start keeping lists again---I used to use lists all the time for trips, and I've gotten away from that.

Clyde, I totally get that---maybe it's the whole disruption of routine thing?

My big stress is the clothes packing, to be honest, although I'm getting better at that. (Well, I was getting better, until this pregnancy I have to try on every outfit I want to pack, just to make sure it still fits!)