Disclaimer- I am on vacation and drinking mimosas… typos will happen under these circumstances.
I am a fortunate person– I have parents whom I adore and learn from constantly. Today I want to celebrate my mother, the woman who taught me the value of excessive planning for vacations. She is the queen of having things covered, of anticipating wants and needs, of being able to silently smile and pull a random object out of a carry on bag that answers your plight perfectly, but only she could have possibly predicted. She is the queen of precision planning vacations.
I am proud to say that this vacation prep time, complete with a six-page spreadsheet I created with packing lists, menu plans, travel bags and shopping lists, feels like a baton passing of sorts. We left yesterday morning and I am completely stress free.
Let me repeat- I am completely stress free and happy. My children are happy. I am enjoying myself.
My house is as spotless as a house with two small human occupants can be- ensuring that when I return I can glide back into life without feeling immediately overwhelmed with real life responsibilities. My laundry pile, usually compiled of at least 3-6 loads of laundry, is completed washed, dried and only two baskets are not put away. Sure, I had to wash a couple of sweaters left over from February but I made it to the end of the pile. Thanks mom, you always said that vacation laundry is overwhelming enough, why add it to a pile of already overwhelming proportions. The stress of getting to that point wasn’t too overwhelming, either, because I followed a calendar, made in Excel of course, detailing all the chores I needed to complete in what order and on what days to ensure that when I left my home it would be there. Anal retentive and strange? definitely. But I know myself, and I know I am completely capable of waking up in the middle of the night and hyperventilating while calling our house-sitter to ask them to do something I forgot. Removing that stress, or more like displacing that stress by putting it ahead of our vacation, means that I can sit by the pool and watch my kids splash around without freaking out on the inside that a tomato might have started the rotting process on my counter.
Here is another trick I learned from my lovely mom- start a spreadsheet of a packing list and add to it every time you go on vacation– I vow to never make the same packing mistake twice. Forget moleskin bandages for blisters once? I learn and adapt. Twice? well that would just be irresponsible. Knowing we were taking this trip last December, I have carefully planned for contingencies and accepted that I have done the best I could do. Now when something comes up and we need to run to the store I jot down a note on my spreadsheet and know that next year we wont have that particular issue arise.
I can relax now, resting easy knowing that anything that comes up is completely unpredictable… until next time, that is, next time I will be the lady who has it covered. Some day, when I am accompanying my grandchildren on vacation, giving a knowing smile to my daughter or son-in-law as I pull the perfect answer to an unknown question out of my carry on bag, I will tell them the secrets of my mother, the ultimate planner, and offer to take them under my wing so they, too, can use excessive planning and prediction to be completely stress-free once the trip actually starts.
Thanks, Mom, you are the reason I can drink a Mimosa with my breakfast and not have a care in the world.