Maybe early toilet training is to blame (when is it not?). But, for whatever reason, I am all but useless the day before I travel.
I’m not too bad in the morning. If I get an early start and apply self-discipline, I can do a few hours’ work, if I’m lucky. But by noon a restlessness sets in, and I want to up and traveling.
Since I can’t travel yet, distractions begin to tempt me. I check my mail with increasing frequency, and visit favorite sites more often than the frequency of their updates would warrant. I wander downstairs to check for the mail. I stop to snack. I wipe a corner of the counter, and gather up the newspapers.
As these distractions multiply in frequency and number, they start turning into packing almost imperceptibly. I begin putting small items aside to pack. I get out my clothes. Then, without any conscious volition, I drag out my bags and start packing.
Never mind that if I iron and fold my clothes now, they will be too rumpled to wear on the trip. A nervous excitement has gripped me, and I’m no longer in control. I pack my socks and underwear and toiletries. I choose books to read on the trip, always putting at least one with my carry-on luggage. Even after I think I’ve finished, I keep remembering small items that I need or at least would prefer to have with me. Often, I have half a dozen after-thoughts.
When I’m done, I may still have fourteen hours or more before I leave. But I don’t care – so far as I’m concerned, I’m already on vacation. I resume my restless prowling around the townhouse, picking up books and putting them down, and starting music and stopping it after a few minutes. I may even nap – and why not? It’s not as though I’m going to manage more than a few hours’ restless sleep that night.
Possibly, I would be calmer if I traveled more often. I don’t think so, though. Even a short, mundane trip, like tomorrow’s to Calgary, leaves me crippled by anticipation. Place the blame on an over-active imagination, work that leaves me under-socialized, or early toilet training, as I said.
I certainly can’t be blamed. I’m traveling tomorrow.