Banishing the travel troll

In theory, I get it.  I really, really do — keeping myself in a good frame of mind is the single most important thing I can do to help my whole family enjoy an experience . . . for instance, a trip to Paris.

But realizing that and actually doing it are not the same.

It is so easy to get stressed.  There is so much to do, and the pressure accumulates.  It feels like whether or not we have an enjoyable time on this trip rests 100% on my ability to predict and prepare for everything we will need while we’re away.  And, I realize, in some ways, that’s actually true.  As the person in charge of packing and organizing (and a fair bit of the planning, even though Dan did a lot) my ability to think ahead will help us have a good time.  I feel the pressure, I feel the deadline approaching, I recognize that only a finite amount of time remains for packing and planning, and I try to accept that not everything I’d like to get done is actually going to be accomplished.

And then, I freak out a little and I start to turn into a troll.  Because even though I theoretically understand that things aren’t going to be perfect, part of my brain can’t really accept that.  I snap at Dan when he tells me he can’t find the tv remote, I sigh heavily when B asks me to turn on the Wii, I get crabby and irritable when I realize it’s almost time to pop the popcorn for movie night.  I *know* I shouldn’t, but it’s not always possible to do the right thing.

There’s laundry to be done, boots to be tracked down, dog food to be purchased, socks to be packed, trash cans to be emptied.  I should also get a reasonable amount of sleep tonight, because if I don’t, I know I’ll be even grumpier tomorrow.  (So, I end up being stressed about getting to bed so that I can be less stressed . . . hmm.)

My task for tonight is to put theory into practice.  I need to work on actually letting go of some of the details.  I need to embrace the fact that getting 90% of this stuff done will be good enough.  I need to remember that they have clothing stores, grocery stores and drug stores in Paris.  I need to be a relaxed, happy mom for my kids and I need to banish the troll-mom that is trying to take over.  (And I really DO need to get to bed at a reasonable hour, because getting rid of a travel troll is much easier with a good night’s rest.)

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