Monday, June 14, 2010

Let's Make a List of Lists

We go through this every time we travel.

The excitement over the trip looms large when the trip is comfortably in the distant future. As the event nears, however, excited anticipation is replaced by a darker sentiment stalking every conversation. That sentiment is anxiety over All the Things As What Needs Doing.

So we make lists. These lists go into various convenient locations, including notebooks, *online* notebooks, sticky pads and that perennial favorite, mental lists. By this point, days before leaving, the lists lurk in various places around the household and glower from urls, laughing at our attempts to be organized, to cling to a methodology, and to remember that thing we were supposed to take care of ... something about the back yard or was it the air conditioner?

Cancel this, but don't cancel that. Weed mow water unplug bring leave print send call write check (write check) rewrite email update sign shop copy ... and of course, pack.

Relief is coming soon, though. There comes a magical moment in any wandering. Its exact moment can never be predicted, but it generally happens somewhere between the Day Before and the Day Of. The anxiety and busy-ness ramps up relentlessly, threatening to suck dry any hope of enjoyment from the whole damned trip, the hours tick by, and then it happens. One by one those nasty lists curl up and blow away in the face of the one force they cannot evade or avert: Time. At some point, you see, it is time.

Time to go.

And somewhere in there, waiting for the taxi, getting in the car and pulling out of the driveway, lifting off the runway, somewhere in there we look at each other and realize that it's too late. Nothing on those lists matter any more because It's Time.

Time to go.

Time to let go.

Time to vacate.

And the very moment is when we exhale. Instead of looking around, we find ourselves looking forward. And suddenly, we have all the time in the world.

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