As I prepared for a little getaway with my mom, I thought my to-do-list wasn't all that big. "No big deal" is what I thought a few weeks ago. I'll pack my bags, pick up and go. Just like Mom. Easy peasy.
Except first of all, I had to drive out to Mom's. So I would have to check the fluid levels, fill up the car and (oh ya) maybe I should replace that windshield wiper that seemed like it was falling off the last time it rained.
No biggy. I should be doing these things anyway.
Then I ended up booking our New Cat's neuter surgery for while I was away. I could have easily changed it, only my son told me he had no problem with taking our cat in for this surgery in my absence.
It should have been just that simple. Only I wanted to ensure everything was in order before I left. So I called the vet's office and faxed the paperwork they required, only to find out that he needed one more shot and he needed a more thorough deworming before his surgery.
That entailed one (more) trip to the vet and while I was there, I prepaid them for his surgery. So now it would be as easy as dropping him off and picking him up.
Then there were the little things. Like ensuring Mom had "government issued photo ID" and that she knew about the limitations on packing liquids and gels in her carry-on luggage. Then maybe we should take some Gravol along with us (since both of us are prone to car sickness), so I asked her for all of the medications she took (which is good to have on hand anyway) so I could check with a pharmacist to ensure there would be no adverse reactions to taking Gravol with the medication she is on.
Then I thought of leaving my Youngest Son on his own. I should be a good mom and ensure he has some easy-to-microwave suppers ready for him. Long story short? He may eat better while I'm away, than he does when I'm here. Not to mention the fact that we had three good meals in a row prior to my leaving. This whole "cooking business" is just not my cup of tea and takes an extraordinary amount of energy for me to accomplish.
The lawn had to be mowed anyway, so I strategically timed it with a good time to wash my hair one last time before we left. I thought I may as well vacuum the basement while I was feeling so sweaty. It is a sad state of affairs when one has to add "shower" to their to-do-list-before-I-go. It is what it is.
Then came the date of departure. It should have been as easy as tossing a few items into a suitcase and zipping it closed.
Except I found myself with a nice little to-do-list. Print our boarding passes; contact our B & B to ensure they knew we wanted to check in early (since they did not reply to either the email I sent two days prior, nor the phone message I left one day prior). Sure enough, when I called the person answering the phone acted as if all this was brand new news to her [insert a feeling of skepticism about the customer service here]. Leave contact phone numbers of where we will be while I'm gone for my son (what if I lost my cell phone??).
Oh ya, and then there was the group email I forwarded for our reunion committee and dealing with a few of the responses after sending that off. And columns. And banking. And ensuring my son had a list of people who he could contact in case of emergency.
Then, I worried about packing. Which meant washing everything in sight, washing my sheets and basically turning a little job into a big one.
I just happened to have to take care of five little people, under the age of four while I was doing "some of the above" and one of my daycare parents looked at me with compassion and understanding and said, "... and if you are like me, you like to leave your house all clean too."
I told her I used to be like that. Whenever I left the city, I cleaned the house like it was the last time I may clean it because "What if I died while I was away?"
Well? I have evolved.
I told this mom that if I died while I was gone, I hoped anyone looking through my belongings after-the-fact would be proud of me and say, "She sure had her priorities straight. She didn't waste her time here on earth cleaning!"
I am writing this before I leave and scheduling it to be published by the time I return home. The reason I do this is because I want to leave a message to any of my survivors, if I do not make it back.
"Please be happy for the time I did NOT spend cleaning. My personal and financial effects are easy to recognize and other than that? Please take that "accidental death benefit" they have in place when you buy a plane ticket with your credit card, and spend it on hiring someone to pack up the house, clean it up and please don't judge me. I did what I could while I was here and housecleaning just fell to the bottom of my to-do-list."
I could be wrong, but it is what it is. It'll just have to do.