Days Spent in Free Fall

You all know that we sent off our luggage just about two weeks ago. Meaning that we are reduced to a tiny fraction of our normal wardrobes, but at least the luggage is out of the way. Okay, most of the luggage is out of the way.

But even with that large hurdle cleared, it still hadn’t sunk in. It still felt hypothetical. I could joke about our luggage not showing up in our stateroom, I could joke about testing positive for COVID, I could joke about shocking our fellow passengers with…well, with just about anything I wear, say, or do. I thought the panic I felt was as bad as it was going to get, but I was so, so wrong.

As the time came closer, I realized just how much work I had to do for Zoetic Press, how much work I had to do to prepare for Christmas (for which my older daughter traveled from Connecticut), and how much work still had to be done to prepare for the trip. But I STILL didn’t freak out.

And then my husband did our final check-in for the cruise.

Why was that the thing that made me lose my shit? Suddenly, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t decide which of the four thousand things on my list to do first, I couldn’t sleep.

I spent 12 hours a day working nonstop to get all the Zoetic Press stuff done, another six working on Christmas stuff, and the other six sleeping. When I wasn’t lying awake and thinking about everything I still had to do. And finally, I just snapped. I told my poor husband that I never wanted to go on this trip in the first place, that I didn’t want to go at all. That this whole venture was dumb. And, saint that he is, he took it as well as can be expected when one is told that the thing they’ve spent a year and a half planning, preparing for, and getting excited about is dumb. I am lucky beyond description that he’s lived with me for more than twenty years and so doesn’t get angry and vindictive when I lose my everloving mind.

Then I finished all the Zoetic Press stuff, and nearly all of the Christmas stuff, and I was still panicking. There was still so much stuff we had to get before we left, and suddenly we’re looking at the luggage we have and the stuff we need to bring (like four months’ worth of meds) and realizing we’re not going to have quite enough room. The good news is that we have time to figure stuff out.

I forced myself to put everything down and spend Christmas Eve and Christmas day focusing on time with my family, and it gave me a chance to breathe and calm down. It was an island of happiness in a sea of naked panic.

As of today, we’re six days away from leaving. The house is a wreck with the stuff we brought home from Christmas, and I’ve changed my mind about what I’m wearing on the plane and from there, onto the ship, about sixty-eight times an hour.

Stuff that’s going horribly wrong:

  • I need refills of two meds, and I’ve contacted my doctors, but it’s highly unlikely they’ll even see the messages between now and the time I leave
  • Our washing machine, which is likely as old as the building we’re in, has now sprung a leak – we have to buy a new one
  • Our refrigerator is completely full of more food than we’re likely to eat in six days

So…less than a week to go, and so much stuff to do. We’ll see what gets done, and what will sit here for four months and greet us when we step through the door! I’m really hoping it’s not a refrigerator full of angry, sentient leftovers.

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