Are we there yet?

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post that I’m leaving for Paris on Friday.  I’m going with a group of DePaul leaders, to spend a week “walking in the footsteps of St. Vincent DePaul.”  (It’s like a pilgrimage, but with less spirituality.)  It’s an all-expenses paid trip to tour Paris, learn about St. Vincent and the Vincentian mission, and get to know more of my colleagues.  Assuming I have Internet access, I will be blogging about my trip next week. Otherwise, expect a very looonnng blog post when I get back.

With two days to go, my anxiety is rising. I think I’ve mentioned before that I do not like to travel, particularly internationally.  (Shorter domestic trips don’t bother me much.)  Actually, it’s not that I don’t like to travel. It’s that I don’t like the thought of traveling. Once I’m there, I’m usually okay, even on long trips.  (I come by this honestly – my dad hated to travel.  The only place he liked to go was the cottage. The man HATED Florida.)

I can’t really explain it.  Part of it is that I don’t like not having my bearings. I’m terrified of getting lost. And since I have a really bad sense of direction, there’s a good chance that I’m going to get lost.  (Yes, on foot.)  I also like to be where all my stuff is. (What can I say – it’s a control thing.) And then you add being away from my kids for a week, separated by an ocean, and it’s enough to pretty much put me over the edge. (I’ve never been a person who lives for travel, but it got worse after September 11, when Tim and I were stranded in London, and Emma was here in Oak Park. )

Strangely enough, I don’t mind flying. I actually kind of like it.  It’s the anticipation of flying that I don’t like.

 I used to put on a happy face and pretend that I liked to travel like normal people do. But that was before I had my revelation that people who always pretend that everything is okay when it’s not are really annoying to be around.  So no more happy face on the travel issue.

It was much less anxiety-producing for me when I was traveling more…I had my airport routine down, had my packing list memorized, knew all the things I needed to do before a trip.   Now that I don’t travel as much, it makes me all disoriented.

Just to clarify, I will be fine once I get to the airport. But with 48 hours to go, I can’t sleep, can’t concentrate (partly due to lack of sleep), and my heart frequently pounds.  It’s bad.

Yesterday, I got some interesting responses to my question. So today I’ll ask another. What’s something that most people in the world think is fun that you find anxiety-producing?



Filed under Family, Gratitude

3 responses to “Are we there yet?

  1. Lin

    Oh, that’s an easy one… I am filled with anxiety by celebratory crowds of any kind. But I’m terrified of big crowds and see danger everywhere: drunken people doing stupid things, getting burned by someone’s lit cigarette, getting separated from my kids, getting trampled, having a drink spilled on me, etc. If there is a bonfire involved I have to leave the party; that is just more stress than I can take. (Years ago at a bonfire one of my boys got 3rd degree burns on his neck when another kid accidentally poked him with a glowing hot stick.)

  2. Deborah Maue

    Another easy one: bungie-jumping… or, at least ‘talking’ about doing it vs. actually doing it. Years ago on a trip to Puerta Vallarta, my friend George and I were guy-talking about how we were going to bungie-jump at our resort’s famous jumping facility. Of course, talk is just talk. Deep down I dreaded the thought, as did George, and we pretended to forget to do it on the flight back to Chicago.

  3. Margaret

    I actually am petrified of the actual flying part of the trip. It gets worse and worse, the older I get. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried and/or practically had a panic attack as the plane takes off. I’m usually okay (or better) once we’re up, but I’m terrified on take-offs and landings. The absolute worst is when you’re waiting to take off and the pilot comes on the intercom and says, “we’re going to be delayed just a bit while we fix a mechanical problem.” AAAAAAAAAAAAH! I don’t want to know that there is ANY type of mechanical problem being fixed before we leave the ground. Just make up a lie and say we’re delayed waiting for the rest of the flight crew to show up. These situations are when I freak out the most.

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