Monday, August 24, 2009

The Clock is Ticking...

There is less than one week until we leave for our camping trip. For the first time, we will be separated from Ethan for more than a day... in fact, it'll be over a week. When I mentioned it to his dad, all I got back in response was "Don't worry, I seriously doubt he'll even remember this happening." Here's the thing: I'm not so much worried about him remembering, but about me remembering! I'm starting to feel pretty anxious about how I'm going to handle being away from him for so long. I originally had all of these plans to do or have "just in case" while we're away, such as driving my own car up alongside Joel and the others, just in case something happened and I had to leave early; or bringing a satellite phone just in case something happened, so that I could find out immediately with a daily phone check-in; and so on.

The problem is this: The more I try to plan for "just in case" scenarios, the more worried I get. It's one thing to have a will or Child Care Power of Attorney in place whenever we leave for an extended period of time; it's a whole other situation when you start taking extra vehicles and having specific phone check-ins while you're on a vacation/adventure. I worry about what might happen if I actually do take my own vehicle, and then I do get some type of emergency phone call during the week we're gone... I can't even begin to picture myself driving back the seven to eight hours in any sort of rational state of mind. What I could see happening is me freaking out, then trying to drive back but driving back too fast or too recklessly, and then making the situation even worse!

Then, what about the satellite phone? Am I really going to force Ethan's carers to be at their phone at a specific, pre-determined hour every day, to call in and prove that he's still alive and kicking? Am I seriously going to expect that I will actually be around my campsite, with access to someone who has keys to the motorhome (because obviously I'd have to lock up the satellite phone at all times out there, it's a pretty hot commodity in a no-cell-phone region), at that same pre-determined time? How would I even make sure that happened? What if there was a time when we missed each other for some reason; would I then fixate on it and freak out even more? Knowing myself, the answer is yes.

I have this regrettable tendency to worry over even the most minute possibility of risk or danger, and there are times when my mind just starts this wagon wheel of worry, revolving around the same fears over and over again, until that's all I can think about. I've really been thinking about it a lot for the past week, and I've decided that I have to trust my cares and my own judgment in choosing them to take care of Ethan for us; I have to trust my instincts that he will be okay, and that we will be okay without him for awhile. If I try to account for every detail and bring "just in case" with me on our trip, there is no way I will be able to free myself, let go, and enjoy the experience. And really, if I do that, what is the point in going?

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