Vacation Eve Panic

There’s something about the excitement of a trip that puts me into an utter panic- and not the good panic.

We look forward to this trip every year. Every December for the past five years, Bryan and I pack our bags right before Christmas and head off to our tropical paradise. A place where the drinks are delivered to you pool side, the food has no end and the responsibilities simply do not exist. We work hard all year so we can enjoy this one week in December. And as much as I absolutely enjoy myself- the days leading up to our flight out of here are pure torture on me.

Take this girl out of her routine and you have a bit of a mess. Cram her routine into two days and the mess just cannot be contained anymore. I’m doing better with being flexible. Challenging myself to go with the flow and not shut down at the first sign of change. I can see my improvements during a regular week, but Vacation eve is different.

Maybe because it’s not a regularly occurring event that I just never seem to have enough time to prepare. But if I’m being honest, I back myself into a corner with seconds left to spare. My excitement about going overwhelms me, so I just compartmentalize it- shove it into a tiny box until I don’t have a choice but to let it bust out. It comes in like a wrecking ball y’all. Every tiny thing I don’t even really need to do before we leave gets added onto the to do list. House must be cleaned spotless, you know? For all those people that won’t be there while we are gone. I don’t give myself enough energy to actually plan what I might need on the trip- so I pack it ALL. Anyone else end up with snow mittens in their tropical vacation bag just in case we come home and it’s snowing?

This year- I don’t want the Vacation Eve Panic. I want to go with the flow and keep my focus on the minimal I need for a week of relaxation. If this sounds like I’ve been a fly on the wall during any of your Vacation Eves, listen up. We can have control of our loss of control. We don’t need to schedule every single minute leading up to leaving. It’s okay to take a minute to sit and relax before you officially are on vacay!

Here’s what I’m doing this year to combat the panic and accept that I will not have control of it all:

1. Prioritize the to do list.

Now I stopped making my daily to do lists a couple months ago. Once my therapist showed me how the lists were aggravating my GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) I quit cold turkey. That’s been a battle in itself for another day, but for special occasions where I simply cannot forget to do something- I’ll write my list. But the list has the expectation that not everything will be completed on it. So I prioritize it- what absolutely has to be completed before we can leave? Find our passports. Take my final for coding class. Pack my toothbrush. Those go to the top of the list. The items at the bottom? I won’t die if I don’t get them done before we leave. Accept that.

2. Focus on the minimal

To enjoy a day on vacation- what do I minimally need? Swimsuit. Check- pack it. If I don’t bring all 45 swimsuit cover ups- I will survive! If I forget a bandaid and get a cut, the resort has some! I try to keep my focus on the minimal needed while packing and before I know it- I’m ready to go!

3. The house doesn’t need to be clean

Y’all- why do we do this to ourselves? We aren’t going to come home and be immediately offended at the new layer of dust that’s settled across the fireplace mantel on top of the layer that we didn’t care about the whole month before. If the house looks like a bomb went off while packing- THEN LET IT! Again- we will not die if we didn’t scrub the kitchen floors before we leave.

4. Breathe

The final step I’m taking. I will stop and let myself breathe in my excitement. I won’t keep telling Bryan to shush every time we brings up how many hours we have left til we leave. When he asks if I’m excited, I won’t roll my eyes and tense up at the thought of all I have to do before leaving. I will allow myself to breathe and live in the excitement. Because without doing this step- you really might die so make sure to breathe 😂

We officially have a little over 24 hours before we board that plane, am I packed? Not yet. But guess what? I am for sure excited!

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