Preparing For Takeoff

Yesterday I didn’t write a post. I had planned to, but I had also planned that it would be the last thing I would do that day, if I did it at all. If it was too late after all the preparations were finished I would go to bed and not kill myself. The thing is, writing takes brain work and creativity. I knew that at the end of a long day of packing, planning, cleaning, preparing, and so on, if my brain was too tired to write I would sit in front of my computer and struggle to write something for 2 hours that otherwise could have been written in 30 minutes. Know thy limits.

It was a manic day from beginning to end. I only really began to fall apart once, otherwise I kept my cool. Monday was our last day. I kept a strict schedule just so that I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed. A final grocery list, grocery store at 8am when they opened, finalizing gifts for Luka’s company. All those little things that you usually keep in your head and think they’ll only take 15-20 minutes, I put all those things in my calendar. I left nothing to chance. After enough traveling I have learned that, especially while traveling with a child, everything takes longer than you think it will. An extra 5 minutes here, they don’t take their nap quite when they normally do, and suddenly the day is gone and you’re standing there feeling like you’re sinking to the bottom of the ocean. Even on Sunday we were far later than I had planned. We were with Luka’s family. I thought at the latest we would be home by 5pm. I think it was closer to 9pm. I didn’t get in bed until midnight. Couldn’t fall asleep right away. My mind was going, going, going. Saturday I had planned to have everything 99% prepared so that I would enjoy the weekend and not have anything left to do. It was ambitious, wasn’t it? Yet, it was a learning experience.

Because I had the whole day to get everything done, I had this false sense of security. I should have just stuck to the most important. However, nesting and security got the better of me and I did a few things that sucked away valuable time. I finally repotted a few houseplants, I washed the floor mats. Things I had been putting off, they were good to get done, but not the most important. I should have done that on a different day. Those things easily took an hour each. In the end I didn’t get things done that day that I had been planning to do like clean out the fridge from all the perishable items so I could then bring them to Luka’s family and not let them go to waste.

When Monday came, I knew I had to do better to stick to the schedule. I slept only about 5 hours that night. Got up and left the house 25 minutes behind schedule. And that was without washing my face or brushing my hair. I looked hilarious, but I didn’t care. I was not going to get overwhelmed! Thankfully, Olivia was most cooperative. Even so, she had a potty accident and peed in her carseat. *long sigh* The worst is that it was freezing temperatures. In Slovenia, if you get wet in cold weather, you get sick. You have to get changed and warm ASAP. I hustled as fast as I could with a toddler. Luka’s company dinner was later that afternoon and I had to look nice.

Got home, got Olivia down for her nap and passed out in the process for about half an hour. Something jerked me awake, probably my own innate dread of being behind schedule. I went to get ready for the dinner. As I’m putting on my makeup I get a call from the friend who was going to watch Olivia while we went to dinner. Her son woke up with a fever and although he was happy and seemed fine otherwise, she wanted to let me know because she knew we were traveling the next day. I’m not usually worried about these things. Unless it’s a stomach virus or something to that degree I think, eh, she’ll be fine. But not when we’re about to travel. I wasn’t even upset when she told me about it. I was too relieved that she thought to call me and tell me. So I said I would call a few others and get back to her. It ended up working out just fine, it was just one more thing for that day. As soon as that happened, Olivia woke up, about an hour earlier than usual. Getting ready was not as easy or fun as it could have been.

Dinner started at 5pm and we arrived right about then. I figured, latest case scenario, I go pick up Olivia at 8pm and go home to finish cleaning and Luka can come later. I’ll be done and in bed by 10pm. No. We left at 9pm. That’s when I had my minor meltdown. Luka asked how I was enjoying it and I said it was great, I just still had so many things to do at home and then I saw in my mind the way I left the flat in a mess and I almost hyperventilated. Got home almost at 10pm and Luka had to drop us off and go back to the office to work. Poor guy. You’ve only been hearing my side of it, but his side was no easier. When Olivia and I got home I didn’t even try to get her to bed. I had more important things to do and in all reality I knew we would be traveling, changing time zones, and all sorts of messed up so I didn’t think it mattered so much. I guess we’ll see on that one.

She finally did go to sleep around 10:45pm. I put her in her travel clothes, gave her a shake, and told her she just needed to stay in the bedroom. She could be in our bed or her bed, but I didn’t care if she slept, she just needed to chill out there. Of course, I knew she was exhausted and I hoped that sitting long enough would make her pass out. It did. I finished packing, got my bag to the door, cleaned up the toys, vacuumed, emptied the dishwasher, ran a final load of laundry, washed a few dishes, wiped the table and counters, and got out all the chargers and adapters. Luka came home around 11:30pm. We talked a bit about priorities. Still on the list of things to do were reserve a rental car, place an Herbalife order so the products would be there when we got there, activate our SIM cards, and respond to customers.

At 1:10am we were in bed. Our transportation to the airport was going to arrive at 4:50am. I set three alarms. I didn’t fall asleep immediately like I thought I would. Eventually I did and then I woke up to Olivia getting in bed with me. I cuddled her for a moment or two and then checked the time. 3:45am. My first alarm was for 4am. I laid there for about 90 seconds before I realized there was no way I was going to fall back asleep. Up I was. I did my makeup, made our breakfast shakes, got dressed, and at 4:20am woke Luka up, whose alarm had been going off for the past 10 minutes. He got ready and then took out the last of the recycling and trash. I was going to put the shakes in my purse and then get Olivia’s shoes on her and be done. Luka called, the van was there almost 10 minutes ahead of schedule. I got Olivia up, gave her her shake, put on her shoes and coat while she was trying to go back to bed. Put on my shoes, coat, grabbed my overflowing purse, turned off all the lights, one last check… and out the door!

Whenever we travel like this, once we’re finally on the flight and my head isn’t spinning quite as fast, I look back and think about what could have been better. What could I have done differently to make this easier? Faster? I should have asked someone for help. Really, if I could have had 3-4 hours by myself on Saturday and Monday I could have done much better. The constant interruption of a toddler really inhibits productivity and focus. I don’t blame Olivia at all. I took “play” breaks because I know she needs it. She can’t spend the whole day entertaining herself while mami is working and cleaning. She needs a few breaks to interact with someone. Overall, this really was the best of our preparations. Even though Monday night we went to bed way later than I had hoped, I never felt that feeling of “I’ll never get it all done.” In the end we left the apartment clean, organized, and in order, which was what I wanted. We didn’t forget anything either. Although I may have left a wet diaper in the entry way.