Tuesday, May 22, 2007

TO WRITE: Leaving on a Jet Plane... or Car or Bike or Boat
You're thrilled or you're dreading it ... you're dashing about or you're dragging your feet. No matter where you're headed out-of-town, no matter how you're getting there, going on a trip can be stressful and emotional. And if you're depressed already, it can feel overwhelming.

If I'm healthy when I'm about to fly or drive anywhere, I'm so excited that I underestimate the time required to prepare and pack. I forget until the last moment to take care of crucial phone calls or take out the trash. I'm often doing laundry at midnight before an early departure, because I must have some favorite outfit clean and ready-to-go. And then there are the decisions about what to pack, and how large a bag I'm really going to need for a weekend in the mountains or a three-week trip to Europe.

My husband, meanwhile, tosses some clothes in the nearest duffel bag and has time to read a magazine before we leave. (Sigh.)

Play with this...
Write continuously for 20 minutes on a voyage you've taken and your emotional and physical preparations. How did you feel -- whether you were off to trek in Nepal or take a day trip to the beach? And how did you get ready? Did one affect the other? If it was a less-than-great experience, can you plan something differently for next time? (I'm instituting a rule for myself that says I aim to depart 30 minutes before I actually need to. Just a mental game, but, with some luck my brain will buy into it.)

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