The "What Ifs"

Excitement accompanied by mountains of work to get ready for a trip has left me feeling anxious. It seems that, whether for a weekend or two weeks, going out of town means over-extended hours filled with planning, packing and putting out last minute fires. Double the laundry, clean the fridge (who wants to come home to green cheese?) shop for toiletries (those miniature deoderant and toothpaste tubes that cost as much as the big ones) and pack for Callie the dog, complete with detailed instructions, to go to her doggie resort. I won't even get started on the outside chores. Mix that with work deadlines and it makes for some restless nights. When did getting ready for a trip turn into such a marathon?
"Do you have to go?"
In younger days I could pack a duffle bag and be ready within half an hour for a trip, no matter what the length of stay. Toiletries? Whatever soap, toothbrush and shampoo I could grab from the bathroom. I didn't even think about the "what if's." With each decade added to my driver's license, the list of "what if's" has bludgeoned. A mini medicine chest is packed among comfortable shoes, dress shoes, casual shoes and flip-flops. Maps, books, magazines, drawing pad and snacks are stuffed in a shoulder bag with the camera, extra batteries, and wallet. Yadda, yadda, yadda.
"Too much!"
I think about the freedom of youth due to being oblivious and naive. Life teaches us to plan or pay the consequences. I wonder, though, if I should try to give up some control of the "what ifs," which is really out of my control anyway, and deal with life as it happens. I'd be much happier to not fret about little things. I am sure there is a Walmart along my journey. Those big tubes of toothpaste really don't take up that much room. Green cheese can be tossed out. You can't find Moon Pies, White Castle or Corky's Smokin' hot Memphis BBQ sauce out here in Oregon, so buy regional!

Of course I am talking about the details of earthly life. The big picture of spiritual gifts and blessings are not to be thought of lightly, but made to grow for God's glory. That takes some planning and diligence. The Bible says we plan our course, but God determines our steps. Christ also talks of making our talents grow by planning wisely.
But, the little things that seem to matter only to us earthlings takes up so much time and energy that we lose sight of the big picture. Ipods and laptops and cell phones need uploads, downloads and charging. If we don't take control and plan for every "what if," the house, work and church might fall apart while we are gone. We might have to sit on a plane without earbuds and actually visit with someone!
The irony in this is that I am traveling to Amish country for both pleasure and to interview an Amish lady about her life. I need to get closer to the roots of life as God has planned for me and leave the time and energy stealers behind. I am looking forward to learning some lessons from the Amish. I'll keep you informed. Meanwhile, I'm going to unplug my computer and not worry about a last minute Facebook entry. That's a start, anyway!
"Let's enjoy our time together."


Anonymous said...

I can relate, since I got a computer and an ipod my free time has been spent on the computer which is very interesting but not nearly as restful as the time I used to have to myself. . .I think I would like at least some of it back.
Thanks for helping to put life in perspective.

therealestatecowgirl said...

Boy, do I relate! With a farm it seems you can never REALLY leave. Your concern and part of your energy is always back with the critters. But if you don't EVER get away you get so burned out. And how do you expand when you are so mired in routine? Feeding the goats does not always bring about nirvana, though the goats do appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Yes! I've decided to schedule less "time-saving electronic" time for more personal time with my family. I relate!

Cindy said...

I love your painting.

Evelyn said...

I agree.I finally set time limits on ALL of our electronic time at home and we find that we don't miss it a bit! (Thank you for you cute illustrations. They make me smile)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

At one time, TV ate up huge gobs of time. Now, it's the computer. It's hard to strike a balance.

Have a fun trip! I recently returned from PA Dutch Country.

Susan :)