My flight leaves at 1 PM today.
It is almost 8;30 AM. I am usually packed the night before, ready to go.
As I pack, I keep the suitcase closed, because we have a cat that enjoys sleeping on anything new, such as clean clothes you have just packed. As the suitcase is still empty and standing upright in the bedroom, our cat has not been able to leave his mark.
Packing my clothes, medication, and laptop will be easy.
Once I start, my years of experience will kick in and I will count out the right number of socks, shirts, etc. for the trip. I will pack my toothbrush, toothpaste and other toiletries. And I will pack a book to read on the plane. No problem.
So why am I packing yesterdays work experience into my suitcase?
It wasn’t the best of days. Although I am vey good at my job, I am still learning how things are done at my latest location. There is a learning curve and I am not usually the one on the underside of the curve. But I certainly was yesterday.
And now I am packing up all my thoughts about yesterday and I am trying to load them into my carry-on bag.
I am so mad at myself right now. I decided to attend the SMART conference months ago. As soon as I learned about it, I was on board. The chance to hear from experts in the field of recovery was for me, a chance to see my future, to see the possibilities for my life going forward.
My long-term goal now is to be a peer advocate. To take the training, to learn all I can, so I can help others who find themselves “up against he wall.” After 43 years of concealing my depression, of not facing it, not even wanting to know what was happening when I was depressed, I am finally facing it, calling it out, keeping it in the open where I can see it.
Packing my frustration about yesterday into my luggage for the conference seems to be the work of depression and unhelpful thinking.
Why would I force myself to wallow in yesterday when I have been looking forward to this weekend for months? I went to work yesterday with a positive attitude, wanting to make sure loose ends were tied up before I left to fly to Chicago. So why am I dragging this with me?
As the coffee kicks in, I am going to get my clean clothes out of the laundry room and pack my suitcase.
I will reexamine why I want to pack yesterday into my luggage. I do not need it; it will not help me get the most out of my experience and it just doesn’t fit well inside my carry-on bag. This means I will give myself permission to leave it behind, to not pack it.
If I need to look at this issue again, you can bet I will know where to find it when I return home. But for now, I am going to live in the present, do the things I need to do to be at the gate in plenty of time, and make the most of this marvelous opportunity
What do you pack in your mind for a trip?