Three weeks to go. Did you hear that brain? Three. Short. Weeks. To. Go…
There is still much to do. Little jobs mainly. Things that a week ago, a month ago, six months ago were far from urgent, but now cannot be put off any longer: appointments, organising bills, car registration, insurances… basically taking care of all the little things that will pop up in the next seven months, so we (and others) don’t have to think about it while we are away.
Then there is packing - packing and repacking the van and packing away parts of our house to make way for our house sitters while we are gone.
That is the easy and, some may say, boring stuff. What has really caught me off guard as OUR BIG LAP has drawn closer is how I FEEL about taking on the adventure. I thought by now I would feel so ready I could burst. Sometimes I do, but a lot of the time I don’t.
When we decided to head off on OUR BIG LAP nearly two years ago the overwhelming emotion I had was that of excitement and exhilaration. The only thing my mind’s eye could see was sunshine, beaches, happy children and a happy family getting to spend time together making happy family memories! I knew there was a lot to plan and organise, but that was way off in the future. Literally years away and nothing I needed to bother myself with at that point in time.
It was a surreal feeling. It was liberating. It got the adrenaline pumping. I often wondered how those feelings would change as we got closer to our departure date and while I actually had no idea, my best guess was that it would feel a lot less surreal and like we couldn’t wait to abandon our every day life for a short while as we drove off into the sunset.
Now that we are here and have three weeks until we embark on OUR BIG LAP I am still finding it hard to describe how I am feeling about it. I admit I am 100% guilty of being a chronic over thinker, so it would come as no surprise that I have been pondering my feelings on this for weeks, yet I still can’t quite put my finger on why I feel somewhat conflicted.
It still feels very surreal.
Kind of like I still can’t quite believe that we could be so blessed as to have this opportunity. That OUR BIG LAP is actually happening, and happening soon. I think the surreal feeling also comes from, in a sense, operating on a two-speed system. On the one hand our day-to-day life is the same - long hours at work for Lloyd, pre-school, playdates, swimming lessons and so on for me and the kids - and my every day pace is a relatively leisurely one. This is juxtaposed against my mind which is constantly ticking over at a million miles an hour making mental lists and always thinking about all the little things we have to do before the trip. It is as if on the one hand everything about our days and weeks is very much the same as it has always been, and on the other hand we are busy trying to find the time to put all the wheels in motion to change life as we know it (for a little while at least). A couple of weeks ago we would have collapsed on the lounge at the end of a busy and draining day. Not any more. There is always something to be done. My guess is that it won’t feel really real until we are driving out our driveway on 17 April… but then again maybe that will be the most surreal moment of all.
It feels a bit overwhelming.
I am the queen of procrastination and all those little odd jobs and tasks we need to get done before we set off are mounting up with our deadline looming large. This is not entirely a bad thing though. Back in my school and university days my best essays and assignments were always smashed out the night before they were due. I take comfort in this and know everything will get done, it would just be nice if for once it wasn’t quite at the last minute!
There is trepidation.
Like most people, I tend to like to know how things are going to pan out. I have a certain vision in my head of what life in the caravan on OUR BIG LAP will be like for us; I have a fair idea of the kinds of amazing sights we are going to see and stunning places we are going to visit (thanks Facebook, Instagram and YouTube!), and I have an idea of how I would like this adventure to impact me and my family; how I want us to feel when we are away… but the truth is I don’t KNOW for certain how any of this will pan out and whether the positive changes in our family will indeed come. It is the complete ‘unknown’ element to OUR BIG LAP, that small gap between what you hope or envision will happen and what actually happens, that sends my overthinking into overdrive and makes me just a little bit nervous!
And then I catch myself in moments where I am not overthinking OUR BIG LAP and I simply see good times around each corner and over every horizon. Even in those moments when things are challenging (and let’s face it, with two toddlers there are going to be lots of them) I won’t be handling it on my own. Lloyd will be in ‘Holiday Dad’ mode (the best type of Dad mode!) and we will get through it together.
I remind myself that there is virtually zero risk in what we are doing. After it is all said and done we will come home to our house, an income and life will return to whatever our new normal is going to be. How fortunate we are.
This is joy.
When I think about all of this my body buzzes with anticipation, almost laughing in the face of my trepidation knowing that joy will most certainly win out as our departure date draws near.
In the meantime, the to-do list shall be king. So many little tasks to achieve, but with each little tick added to that list we get closer to being ready, closer to being able to relax knowing all the planning and organising is done, closer to turning surreal into real.
Stop procrastinating and stop over thinking it Bec. There is no time for that. Very good times are just around the corner.