Thursday, August 9, 2018

Anxious? Plan for the Possible

Besides the pre-vacation anxiousness I usually have trying to make sure all ducks are in a row at work and things at home are taken care of, tangley red tape and action paralysis filled each of my work days so far this week. We also had a credit card issue because of the third party pay system for our apartment in Belgium; our my credit card declined twice the transaction. I was worried for two days that we would arrive in Brussels with no place to stay. Monday was hectic getting DD2 off to choir camp. She was overwhelmed as was I, myself having a little panic/anxiety attack after leaving town later than planned, hitting a detour, and then going the wrong part of campus to check her in. The format was different than other types of camps she has ever participated in and being painfully shy, she was acutely aware that other girls seemed to have peers from their school, and while she had her guy friends, they were housed completely separately. She called Monday night very sad, just walking around during the free time because she couldn't find the guys and was too shy to connect with others. Nerves got to her, but since then I have had just a reassuring text that things were better, and an inside joke text about our vacation. 

Regular stress and bothers that everyday, every one deals with. In my head though, I often go to the worst case scenario, which is what leads to the anxiety. I'd like to have  a more relaxed, chill, some might say, attitude. When I am very tired, it's exasperated. I take any small issue, disruption, inconvenience, and  think it won't be resolved and it's only going to get worse. I make figurative mountains out of molehills. I recognize this in myself and can acknowledge this. Breaking the cycle has been harder, but I'm trying through some tools and coping strategies. 

One tool, I'll call Plan for the Possible. Yesterday, I spent 15 minutes before leaving work listing all the areas of my work that might need attention and intervention while I am gone. Today I have a team meeting and on the agenda is back-up and coverage. Might something fall through the cracks? Yes, and probably will, but this will minimize my anxiety being away, and prepare someone else to help pick up the ball. Last night I also printed on paper, even though everything is electronic, all our itineraries, confirmation codes, and even tickets, and ordered them by needed date. Tonight I will do a time table to sort out where we need to be by what time. Knowing our transitions are well planned for will help me fully escape into the vacation. Imagining the possible scenarios or snags and adding back-up will help me even more so. 

Monday's stress of getting DD2 to camp was amplified by the credit card problem and one of the pesky work decision-no decision issues. Really though, I had planned buffer times in several places, and we adapted our plans to eat lunch  in town and just grabbed a bite on campus. We even got to the 1:30 program well ahead of many people. Had I not already been high strung by the start to my day, the confusion and detours would have only been blips instead of unnecessary self induced panic. I'm a work in progress. 

14 comments:

  1. Oh my dear I feel your pain, anxiety around travel is almost unbearable, especially like you say the transitions. Before I leave for Scotland I plan to write down (yes...write) the routes I will have to drive to get to all of our airbnbs so that my brother can just read the instructions back to me as I drive. Hmmm...perhaps I should put the mileage down as well and estimated times of arrival...Anything that will alleviate some of the anxiety! Good luck to you! One thing I say which helps is a little quote from Reader's Digest - I repeat often to myself "you're OK so far" and take 5 or 6 deep breaths :)

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    1. I write down subway stops! The trip will not be perfect, but I'll enjoy it all.

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  2. I used to get anxious about travel arrangements when we went abroad, but those days are over now.
    I hope you have the most amazing trip with your family, and look forward to hearing about it xx

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    1. There is too much out of my control, and there lies the stress. Still, planning meticulously hopefully puts me back. I will enjoy every minute!

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  3. We are ALL a work in progress :) Just keep remembering....SUE is going to the Louvre, everything will be ok.....HAH!!

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    1. You'll get your fill, Sue. Where else shall I bring you.

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    2. Well....since you asked, lol. I'd like to see the Arc d'triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, take a walk along the Seine. I would also, if you don't mind, like to taste every and any pastry available.....however, YOU may keep the calories :)

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    3. I have you totally covered. Our apartment is right along the Seine across from the Eiffel tower, and don't even get me started on the food.

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  4. 'Possible' is key word in life. Strive for the possible, plan for the possible, even dream of the possible - if you want to avoid stress, tension, anxiety.

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    1. Dream the possible-I love that.

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    2. Do be very aware of the pickpockets, especially around the Eiffel Tower. They usually have little kids start harassing you and it is pretty bad there, although I have only ever been robbed in Barcelona and I was an idiot and probably deserved it. I'm sure you'll be fine though!

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    3. I've also hear the Mont martre area is a haven for thief and pick pockets and scammers. We will be fully aware!

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  5. I run on worse case scenario! I get so stressed. This totaled car stuff is destroying me. It sounds like you pretty much have it all under control. Having hard copies is a good idea.

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    1. Car's are a necessary evil to begin with and when things happen beyond your own control, even worse. I hope your issues get resolved.

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