Show of hands, who else also feels anxiety in the days leading up to a much-needed vacation on the beach? Just me? Ok, I’m gonna write this one anyway.
When I was a kid, I observed my mom going through an interesting ritual in the days leading up to a summer vacation. She’d make sure the house was spotless. This always confused me on some level because I’d think, “We are gonna be gone. Why clean when you aren’t gonna be here to enjoy it?” It was only after becoming an adult that I got it. Coming back from a relaxing vacation where you had no worries can be depressing when you realize real life starts again. Coming home to a clean house helps to ease this post vacation funk.
Something else that causes my anxiety to climb is preparing to go on vacation. I always get the feeling that I’m going to forget something really important that will cause me to stress out during vacation. It probably stems from that one time in college when I did forget something pretty important….my suitcase.
Nope. That was not a typo. I seriously left my suitcase in my dorm room right before a trip to New Orleans where I helped clean up neighborhoods affected by the latest hurricane. Fortunately, I had all the pertinent medical equipment in my backpack that I had strapped to my wheelchair. What happened was there was a miscommunication between myself and a friend that was helping to carry my luggage. He asked me if that was all, while standing in my doorway where my suitcase sat in the middle of the floor, where he could clearly see it. I said yes as I wheeled down the hallway. Unfortunately, he meant, “Is that all you are taking, I only see your backpack on your chair.” When I said yes, thinking he saw my suitcase and would pick it up, I should have known he didn’t when he asked me, “Are you sure?”
Fast forward several hours and our bus full of college students made it to our first overnight rest stop. We disembarked and began unloading luggage. It was late and we were all tired and began readying for bed. Except I couldn’t find my suitcase. After looking into the back of the bus, I began to realize to my horror that my suitcase was stranded in my locked dorm room, several hundred miles away.
Fortunately several of my girlfriend’s came on the same trip and let me borrow their clothes. Every day I’d dress up as another one of my friends. I’m just glad I didn’t have an identity crisis during the week! I did contact the college office and had my luggage shipped to me. It arrived the day before we drove back to campus.
Nowadays when I go on vacation for more than a weekend, I make sure to make a list of everything I’m gonna need to pack. I mark it off the list when it’s inside my bag, and double-check to make sure all my luggage goes with me to the airport or inside the car.
Preparing for vacation can be stressful. I hope my story helps put things into perspective for you. And helps you feel better if you’ve also went on vacation without your suitcase.
*A slightly better scenario then forgetting your suitcase appears courtesy: www.weknowmemes.com