Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day 7 - The day I have massive packing anxiety

So the next couple of days will be pretty lame, post-wise, because I leave tomorrow for a trip. It's not a new trip, it's been planned for a while (and paid for), and it's not a "vacation" trip. It's a trip for a group I volunteer for. It'll be a super fun time, full of fun and inspiring people and motivating workshops, but it will be jam-packed and won't leave much time for anything else.

I wonder why I have such packing anxiety. Is it because I was a girl scout and therefore feel like I must always be prepared for any event/emergency/etc. It's not uncommon for me to pack a suitcase so heavy I worry not only about getting it down my apartment building stairs and down the stairs at the train station, but worry about whether or not it's under the limit set by the airline. Seriously. It's one of those things I am terribly embarrassed by, but get such massive amounts of anxiety that I can't fathom packing much less than I normally do.

Here's my packing steps:
1. Make list of scheduled events for trip.
2. Add potential events, imagined up by my over-active imagination.
3. Write possible outfits down for each event.
4. Retrieve possible outfits from closet.
5. Hang on shower curtain.
6. Get anxious, turn on TV/get on computer.
7. Go to bed.
8. Wake up realizing I still haven't put a thing in the suitcase. Get panicky.
9. Look at list, realize I hate all my clothes. Think about going shopping.
10. Look at checkbook balance, look online for clothes, realize will have to make do with clothes I currently own.
11. Add more details to the list, like what bra and underwear I will wear with each potential outfit.
12. Get suitcase from closet. Put on living room floor.
13. Look at clothes hanging from shower curtain.
14. Decide it would be a visual help to put clothes in order of when I would wear them, grouping them by day.
15. Realize list is now disorganized and difficult to follow.
16. Write out new list.
17. Email/Facebook message people who are also going on trip with me. Commiserate with them about how difficult packing is. Then email/Facebook message up to 10 other people, just to say hi.
18. Realize bills should be paid before I go anywhere, even though they aren't due for two more weeks and I'll only be gone for five days.
19. Open suitcase.
20. Decide I also need to write down all the shoes I might need, according to the outfits on my newly-written list.
21. Fetch shoes from closet and line up next to suitcase.
(You are correct if you have deduced that there is nothing in my suitcase yet)
22. Sit on my couch and stare at empty suitcase. Develop stomachache.

I will not go on, because I'm sure you understand by now that this is a difficult experience for me. I did finally put items in my suitcase, but not until about 2 hours after I wanted to go to bed. This is how it is EVERY TIME I go anywhere.

Any suggestions on how to change this behavior, other than medication (no one will prescribe me any) and making lists?

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