My family is the kind of family that makes a spreadsheet packing list for a one night trip to the neighboring town. I spent my developing years checking off boxes and bemoaning the list's limitation that I only bring THREE shirts for my one night trip. How could I possibly choose?
I grew up a doer in a family of planners. Suitcases were packed a week before we walked out the door, the car was loaded the night before, after everyone had proven to my mother that our list was checked off, and we had everything we could possibly need.
This strangely left me able to think and stress over schedules and spreadsheets while simultaneously unable to remember to do the homework assignments that I had dutifully noted down in carefully organized planners throughout school. I have the ability to do the mental gymnastics to come up with a plan, but lack the discipline to remember exactly what that plan is.
I'm not sure how Eric grew up, but based on my personal travels with him I have to assume his family took somewhat less uptight approach. I'm not one to brag but my boyfriend can literally wait until one hour before he is supposed to leave to even CONSIDER packing for something. Yet with all his laid back, relaxed, last minute attitude, it always turns out that I am the one who forgets something critical.
While this sometimes leads to frustrations on both of our parts, it has overwhelmingly improved my own, and I assume, his life when it comes to planning trips. Eric is able to show me how to relax and enjoy the planning process, which helps me remember critical details that are otherwise lost in the shuffle, while I create a plan that puts us on a timeline that is less stressful than the "one hour before departure" strategy.
We are currently about six months away from loading up my car and driving to Georgia. I'm begining to feel some anxiety. I should be hiking more, I should be spending more time going over my gear list. I should think harder about the food I want to eat. I should bite the bullet and order the last items I know I will need. I should tell my boss I need leave. But that's not what I'm doing.
What I really should do is sit and enjoy my last months here. I should be meditating on the struggles I am about to go through, and appreciate the life I had. I should be approaching this hike with joy, and mental fortitude.
So far, so good.