When I first started traveling, getting ready was a major milestone. Mentally I started the process several days before my trip. If my departure date happened to fall during the week, I would try to have everything ready by Sunday. The final step was always the same. I would pull my checklist, a printed list of categories and major items that I needed on every trip, out of my sock drawer and review my efforts.
I look back and realize that I have a hard time remembering those days. The idea of packing in advance is foreign. While I do check my packing mentally, there is nothing in writing. Being prepared has a new definition. If I am packed the night before my trip, I am doing well. Usually my efforts only come together on the day of the trip, no matter how early my departure is.
The process drives Cherry and Carli crazy. They know I am going to forget something. Occasionally, twice in the last fifteen years as I recall, I have forgotten something. Once it was ties on a suit kind of trip (solved when I made a trip to the crafts store at the Hotel). The other was more challenging. I had no socks! Given the early meetings, full schedule, and dinners, there was no time to solve that one. I carefully washed my one pair of socks out each night and put then where they would dry by the morning.
I have come to rationalize my actions because I travel often. When I travel with others vets, it seems that “it wasn’t long before we had our luggage together and were on our way to Jerusalem.” (Acts 21.15)
Yet, I wonder about my approach. I understand my thinking and behavior is shaped by familiar repetition. The alternative is one of doing more early so that one can indulge in a time of peace before the journey begins. Given the lack of relaxed moments in my day, it is an appealing thought. Maybe next time I can plan, be ready, and prepared.