Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Anticipation is Making Me Wait

There's an element to my trip on Saturday that I have to admit is exciting and unnerving. I'm actually traveling alone for the first part. I'm used to traveling with my family. Oh, I've gotten on a plane by myself and gone to visit extended family. That's a flight I'm so very familiar with, nearly boring.

Saturday, I'm getting on a plane and going to Europe alone. Oh, I'll meet up with folks once I land.

Or will I?

See, that's the interesting part, the part that gives me little chills to my knees that feel like the first flutterings of too much wine. I can make waves of these tinglings just by asking myself, 'What if no one shows up in Zurich?'

There it is, another wave outlining the nerves that travel the length of my legs. I wonder if I could get them to go all the way down to my feet.

What if something happens and I can't get back?

Down to my arches. Cool. Or not cool, depending on your perspective.

Now, some people don't like to fly. I do. The only thing I don't like is being jammed into a plane like a veal flanked by other veal or like those poor chickens we don't like to think about when we have our nuggets. Please people, buy stuff made with free-range chickens. Just do it. Even our food deserves to be treated humanely.

Sorry. I got off track there for a minute.

So, I look forward to getting on a plane and landing in a country whose languages I don't speak. I look forward to reading my book for eleven hours. I'm excited to see foreign mountains, to see the difference in the way the sun lights the sky. To listen to people talk and have no idea what they're saying. I can't wait to see if I understand more after eleven days. I can't wait to feel the cultural differences. Will life run more slowly? Will I eat too fast even though I'm always the last to finish at my house? Will I be able to put my phone down and feel the pulse of the neighborhood where I'm eating breakfast? Will I be naive to tourist traps?

My guys are going to miss me, man, child, dog, cat, and even the frogs. I hope the frogs don't miss me too much, but I have to tell you that it's heartening to see them jumping around their tank in excitement when I get out of the shower. Okay, you might say that the sound of the shower has become a Pavlovian stimulus to them and they're anticipating their lunch, but maybe they really do like me. My cat is going to miss my lap. My dog is going to miss our walks. My guy is going to miss the way I laugh too loudly and how I demand a kiss and a hug when he gets home. My boy is going to miss the way I cook. He might even miss how I push him to do the right thing.

Wow, I just realized that I promised to make something they could eat for a few days in a row when I left. Why did I promise that? We just finished up a mess of meatballs that I made late last week. That would have been the thing to leave them with. Now, what do I do?

I'm not going to have to cook on my trip. I'm not going to have to pick up after anyone but myself and I'm not bringing much stuff. I'm really not. I don't have to help with homework or argue about behavior or chores. Oh, I'm probably going to get dragged into homework a little when I make my eight-minutes-a-day call.

I'm going to get a break from acting Mom.

And that's going the be the worst part of my trip too. Huh. Guess I'm due. Three days has been my maximum so far. I guess eleven days will be a test.

I'm hoping to come home to a new level of appreciation, a 'Mom, I really missed you!' I'm hoping that Nick will get some practice being a little more self-sufficient. I'm going to enjoy the break and it's going to be the worst part of my trip at the same time.

And maybe I can bring home some of that slow lifestyle when I return. Maybe I can bring home a way of being that I didn't know before. Will I cut flowers and bring them inside? Will I work on my house as if it will exist for millenia instead of decades? Maybe I'll feel more independent, knowing that I can get on a plane and travel half way around the world to a place where I don't speak the language and somehow meet my sister and my niece, have a good time eating our way across France and then making my way home.

Oh, I have to tell you that I'm obsessing about this, but in a way, I'm tired of being so excited and I'm ready to get the whole thing rolling.

I am going to have a great time. I'm telling you. I will. I'll let you know if I change my mind.

Thank you for listening, jb


  1. It funny how I see so much of 'me' in you..."what if I never come back?!" 'What if something goes wrong'?! I think we are the kind of people we like to be prepared for every eventuality. I have not been visiting you ( or any one else on blogger) for quite sometime and I feel a bit guilty about it.
    Nice to know about your upcoming adventure...enjoy your trip.Well,France is not that far from here; I wish that UK was on your itinerary too..how wonderful that could have been to meet you in person!
    I hope things go as planned for you and you have a great time in Europe :)

    1. Arti, I had the very same thought when my sister and my niece were putting together their itinerary. If either of them had mentioned the UK, I would have insisted that we stop in to see you. 'I have a friend I need to meet near London,' I would have said. You would love my sister. As it was, we were running from one thing to the next. I stopped writing about it because at night, I was just too tired by the time we dropped our bags in our room for the night. Hopefully, I can write about more of it before the next big adventure begins. We're getting new flooring and I'm moving half of our house into storage.

      BTW, don't feel guilty about focusing on your art. Please. I'll be here.

      We will meet, my friend. I just know it. In the meantime, I really liked thinking of you as I explored art in France, Switzerland, and Spain. My favorite was Gaudi in Barcelona. You would have loved the light in his cathedral.

      hugs back