“Let’s have a family meeting!” my dear son says to me tonight when we are finally all back under the same roof. Because here we are again. Just over a week out from another thirty day road trip. It’s crunch time. A week for motivation and determination. A week for preparation.
How do you leave? How do you pack up a car, turn off the computer, and just drive away?
For a month.
The short answer is this: You just do.
It’s not that we don’t have a lot of other things that we have to do. And it’s not that we don’t have a lot of other things that we want to do. It’s just that of all those other things, we’ve decided that this thing, this one trip, is the priority. Everything else, and I mean EVERYTHING else, is planned around this one single block of time. And then we do it. I stick with the plan. I don’t change my mind. I don’t use all the real and valid and reasonable excuses I have to not go, and then not go. I just keep moving forward every day, until the day we drive out of town.
The long answer is this: You make a lot of lists.
We leave in 10 days. My current TO DO list consists of 27 items. I know… how do I live with myself? The number 27 is bothering me just as much as it is you. Do not be alarmed. I’m positive I will have a cool 30 items on the list before I’m even done writing this blog post.
Although… this is just my “Home” To Do list. My “Work” To Do list is down right alarming. The first item states “1. Clear All Emails.”
hahahahahahahaha… ohmygod.. bwahahah. I can’t stop laughing. lol.. no really… haha.. Ha. No… wait. Whatdidshesay? No emails? No little red flags? No bolded unreads? No “awaiting responses?” No color-coded follow-up email categories?
Nada. Nothing. Empty.
heh… heh.. uuhhhhh… #arethosetearsoflaughter? lol… I mean… What?
Yeah. I’m for real. A clean slate. If your work is anything like my work, then you get at least 75 new emails a day. That’s where the bulk of the time goes this last week. Get caught up. Wipe the slate clean. Delegate some new stuff. Stop procrastinating. Deal with the tough issues that seem to NEVER GO AWAY and make them go away. Set your plan for emergency contacts while you’re gone, and write the outgoing message baby. Yes, we all know the emails keep coming whether you are backpacking in the wilderness or not, but it will be easier to sit down along the way and plow through the new ones if you don’t have old issues lingering on the mind.
And finally, I have the packing list, which I have been diligently creating while driving back and forth across the Cascade Mountains these last couple weeks carting my children to summer camps. I won’t bore you with the details now, but it is extensive, and currently consists of three separate columns:
1. Camping/Backpacking Gear
So, back to the all-important pre-trip family meeting. There is only one thing on the agenda moms: get them excited. Excited children (and husbands) help more. I guarantee that someone somewhere has proven this a scientific fact. We talk about seating arrangements (Aubrey asks if she can drive, ha) and shopping lists (btw, which dehydrated all-in-one meal is your favorite?), what books we’re going to bring to read (I don’t remember the last trip where we didn’t cart all 7 Harry Potter’s along), and what music we want on our playlists (oh for the love of all that is holy, stop with the country!). We talk about all the places we’re going to explore (The Great Lakes!), and the people we are going to see (cousins!), and all the things we’re going to do (Segway tour anyone?). We all wonder a little anxiously if we are prepared for the more challenging adventures (now, the Greenstone Ridge Trail is a beginner 42-mile backpacking trip, right?) . But mostly, we just build anticipation for another great family adventure coming our way. Because they are always, always, worth the effort.
I hope to have time to write a blog or two along the route, but considering the number of posts I’ve made since January (zero), I wouldn’t bet the racehorse on it. You’re busy. I’m busy. There’s no reason to list excuses here. Instead, I will sign off with a little photo of the next National Park the Clemans’ clan will be visiting: Voyageurs!
Happy Trails Everyone!