Packing for a holiday
Let’s start with a ‘happy’ news. I’m going on a holiday to Australia! Around this time each year, I plan my summer escape but I wasn’t able to confirm if the trip would come to fruition until recently. My earnings for the last 2 months was just enough for me to go on a holiday (with my mum). I have to be sure I have enough budget to pay for it, to cover up my loss of earnings this month and to cover up my rent for the next 2 months, in case I return and find myself jobless again. It’s a tight budget but I’m glad I can still make the trip. I’ll be flying to Melbourne this weekend so it’s time to prepare my baggage.
Clothing and essentials: it’s going to be cold and wintry, in particular the region I am visiting is known for its cool winter. It snowed in July, will it snow again? Could this be the coldest winter I experience in Australia? I’m not much of a fan of summer so the drop in temperature would be a welcome change.
Itinerary: I have about two weeks from the day I booked my trip to plan my itinerary. I spent last week working out a draft schedule for each day of my trip, breaking down into details from morning, afternoon and evening, locations and addresses, printout of train timetables and destination maps. I’m flexible and amenable to last-minute changes but I’d still like to have a schedule on my hand, just in case.
“I adore spontaneity, providing it is carefully planned.” Source unknown
That’s not all. I have a couple of extra emotional baggage that I’ve inadvertently packed in.
(1) I’m worried about my job prospects. I haven’t had much luck in securing a more permanent position or one with a secured monthly income. Will I get any work when I return? What if a potential employer contacts me whilst I’m away? These are the questions that will be at the back of my mind.
(2) I’m worried about my financial circumstances. I make sure I have enough to cover my rent for the next 2 months but what of unexpected expenditures? It turns out I have a badly infected tooth. My dentist suggests a root canal treatment as the filling probably won’t last. I can only hope it lasts for as long as possible, for I cannot afford a root canal treatment at the moment. Even though I work at the university but since I’m employed under a temporary contract, this means I’m not eligible for any dental or medical benefits.
(3) On top of my personal emotional baggage, every family has its problems and I’m worried this holiday might prove more stressful than relaxing. I’m looking forward to a quiet vacation consisting of peaceful serene walks in the national parks and gardens, by the lakeside and coast. But my mum might have a different idea. The last thing I want is to have someone beside me babbling on about matters such as our family’s financial circumstances, spending habits and shortcomings or discussing the affairs of someone else I don’t care or whoever said or did something in the past and present. I have lose my temper several times in the past because my mum broke the ‘golden silence’ rule (can you not just appreciate the beauty of nature when you’re on it?) I know she needs a good rant like everyone else and it’s only right that I lend her my listening ear. But when she keeps repeating herself, I lose my patience. I have the nagging fear that history would repeat itself this time given the bad start to 2017. I’m sure she has plenty to say (rant). And with my own personal problems, I’m afraid my tolerance level is very low at the moment. During better times, I used to go on 3 holidays. One with my parents, one with my mum, and one on my own. I have thought of making this a solo trip but since my annual summer vacation has always been accompanied by my mum, I’ll have to find a reason to make it an exception this year which might make it worse (I feed on my mum’s worries). I hope my fears are unfounded or I might need another holiday (on my own) to get over this holiday.
(4) No matter how short or long a trip, I’ll always miss my cat. I wish I could take her physically with me.
Life is a paradox
Do birds of a feather flock together or do opposites attract? Life is unpredictable, what’d you do if you found out your days are numbered? There’s a saying ‘Live everyday like its your last’ but in reality, how is that possible? How many of us are able to predict our own death? I start at the beginning with a ‘happy’ news. This is deliberate. I didn’t say good because I dare not say it is the right or wise decision to spend the money I painfully saved over the past 2 months for a holiday which might turn up to be more stressful than I thought. I do know however that if my life is to end right now or in the near foreseeable future, this is what I would do.
If this be the day that I die, it’s the last thing I’d do
Despite my worries, I have no regrets booking this trip. In a way, I have nothing to lose, I would be no worse off than I was in May. I need to get away, even if it’s only temporary. Not just away from the sweltering heat that is making my hermit indoor lifestyle sweaty and uncomfortable, but a break from this city.
Fast forward to yesterday (Monday), I had a dental appointment in the morning and a scheduled pet food delivery in the afternoon. On my way back home after the dental appointment, my earphone was playing me up again. Even though I have a spare one, I was worried the spare one would break down on me too. Getting it fix would entail a 30-45 minutes bus ride to the shop and I was debating if I should get this done on the same day, after the scheduled delivery. When the driver called around 2:50pm to say he was on the way, I thought this meant he would arrive within 30 minutes, which would give me ample time to make the trip and be back before 6pm. By 3:30pm, there was still no sign of him. As each minute passed by, the chances of me getting stuck in the peak hour traffic increased and I started to panic. “But you don’t have to do this today, you could still go the day after.” I tried to console myself but it didn’t work. The thing is I have prepared myself mentally for going out on Monday, I was psychologically pumped out for that matter and I didn’t want to put myself through the cycle again the day after, that would be too exhausting. Besides, I’m leaving for my trip this week so I do want to spend as much time at home as possible for the next few days. As I sat waiting for the delivery, I found myself caught in a frustrating dilemma that put me on the verge of crying, whereas people would have thought it foolish and trivial. In the end, the delivery arrived around 3:40pm. I thought there was still a chance of making it back on time so I made a dash out and managed to get it repaired and was home again by 5:30pm as traffic started to pick up.
I didn’t write this to bore you with details of my private life. My intent is to illustrate the daily struggles of someone living in an environment that isn’t conducive to one’s sensory and autistic needs. Stepping out of the house is a real challenge and a constant psychological battle against time and people. It has put me on the verge of a breakdown. I wish I am stronger and more resilient but unfortunately, I found myself in a state like my infected tooth, delicate and brittle.
Wouldn’t it be nice to know if ‘this will be the day that I die?’ I would be able to just enjoy my holiday and live the moment without the excess baggage that is tied to the unforeseeable future. Although I promise to get rid of as much excess baggage as possible and enjoy my holiday!
Featured image from http://www.pixabay.com