(MH) I like putting things that don't fit next to each other. It's a not so secret obsession. When I'm planning for a trip -- like the one I'll start tomorrow -- I make sure to leave all my errands until the last minute, make sure I have plenty of work to rush haphazardly through, make sure my room is a mess and needs vacuuming, make sure my linens all need a good washing, make sure the dry cleaning needs to be picked up, make sure I play an appropriate number of board games and sing at my local piano bar. All before I begin to think about what I should pack.
I think this packing tactic has actually made me an amazing packer and traveler. My credit card statements -- with their evidence of hastily taken cabs, missed-flight charges, and last minute (and mid-trip emergency) purchases -- might want to tell a different story. But when's the last time I listened to anything my credit card statements had to say about my choices.
It's the suddenness that becomes of the leaving moment, I think, that helps the travel. The furious flurry of a day and a half in which I'm forced away from my more comfortable and comforting thinkingness, then forgotten into the strange empty buzz of the airport terminal, when I start settling into the kind of quiet I like to travel in, where I get to really see Essential again.
It's noon. I'm leaving tomorrow night. I have a sushi lunch date in fifteen minutes (I haven't showered), a potential work date this afternoon to finish up my oral exam list drafts, a date with the gym around four, a dinner and movie date tonight, a late breakfast and wedding planning meeting (someone else's; don't get it twisted) tomorrow, a sushi dinner date tomorrow just before catching the red eye. The laundry's in the dryer. My room is a mess. I have several errands to run. I've edited this post a few times and might once more later.
And at some point, I suppose, it will have to happen that I pack.