Why is it that whenever you’re leaving for a trip, the only question people can think to ask you is, “So, are you all packed?” Perhaps it really is the first thing that comes to mind, or maybe it seems to them to be the least invasive question to ask someone who is leaving for a long time, but for some reason it always gets on my nerves.
What does “packed” even mean? Belongings all rolled up and cuddling in your zipped suitcase, waiting for you at the door on the eve of your departure, ready to be whisked off to the airport? I’ve been on a lot of trips, and by that definition, I’ve NEVER been “packed.”
I keep telling people that I’ve packed “mentally.” When I shared this notion with my dear friend Jackie yesterday, she chuckled and shared my sentiment that packing “mentally” is half the battle.
I’ve been paring down my clothes, electronics, books and other belongings all summer: selling them to Plato’s Closet, on eBay, etc. In a roundabout way, this is part of the packing process I am in now. With less belongings to sort through, I’m able to more easily decide what really needs to come along with me.
My packing situation couldn’t be more ideal: I’ve been able to spread my belongings into an organized mess across several hundred square feet in my parents’ basement. This has allowed me to make my bedroom my mess-free sanctuary. This is essential for the neat freaks out there (like myself), for whom this level of disorder can induce serious health issues, ranging from headaches and hernias to complete insanity.
I made my older brother’s ex-bedroom into “Pack Station Central” for my clothes. I started all items in the “Probably” pile and gradually moved them into the “Definitely” pile in order of importance as space in my suitcase would allow.
I’ve spent the most wonderful summer at home with my parents. I’m going to miss them so much I can’t even think about it. Tonight, we enjoyed a fab home-cooked salmon dinner together tonight, complete with some fine Rioja wines in celebration of my move back to the land of vino tinto.
So now, on the eve of my departure, I would say yes: I am all packed. My suitcase might not be zipped and at the door, but everything is ready. And so am I. I’ve been saying goodbyes for weeks now, and it has been draining. It is time to get on the plane!