Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Never Leave Home Without It

Homework assignment (link):
~Get a baggie and go to your make-up drawer. Using extras, pack a make-up kit you can keep in your suitcase. Have a toiletry bag ready to go: Put baby wipes in a baggie (if they dry out, just dampen them) to wash your face, and refill or buy some travel-size toiletries.
~Make a packing list of comfortable, washable travel clothes to keep in your suitcase. (The list, not the clothes.)
~Blog about something you never leave home without. Prompt: "I never go anywhere without double-stick tape. I use it for _________.

I am a spontaneous traveler by necessity. We rarely have more than two to three days notice before a trip, so I especially appreciated Travelin' Oma's post on travel tips. I usually jot down a list of everything I'd like to take with me and I check it off as I pack. The one time I didn't do that I remembered to bring everything but my underwear. Awkward. I had to make a return trip home to get it. One pair of undies just won't do for a week, ya know?

But for every tangible item I pack there are also the intangible that I carry with me. For instance, I never leave without my keys or my phone (mostly) but I also never leave home without thinking of someone. This brain of mine never shuts down and it's all I can do to get a few hours' reprieve every night, but I do constantly think about people.

Usually it is someone dear to me, my husband or one of my children. A sibling or extended family member. A neighbor or a friend. And occasionally it will be the person I pass on the road (what is their story? why is his/her face wearing that expression?)

I think of the things I love about them, or the ways in which I could be better towards them, and in that same vein, the ways in which I am lacking towards them. I recall their faces, the way their eyes light up when talking of something for which they have a passion. Or the way their laughter bounces through the room, the way they hold their hands when they're being thoughtful, tense, or giddy.

Sometimes I think about the financial strain people are experiencing and how they are weathering this economic storm. I'll reflect on and admire their tenacity and positive attitudes. I might imagine up a story about their home life, the social interchanges between husband and wife. Or maybe I'll be the Blue Fairy and grant them their heart's desire. Which gets me to thinking about what that might be for a particular someone. I also think about the things someone really enjoys: food, clothes, friends, family.

I think about the every day sort of things friends deal with - perhaps they are being thwarted by their insurance company to get the care they need for themself or a loved one (this happens more than you'd think), and I puzzle over it until a solution comes to me. The puzzling is my favorite part - making pieces fit together when it looks the least likely. I puzzle over the Special Education needs of strangers, and those are my favorite solutions to conjure up.

Mostly, I think about how I can write it all down and keep the memories forever.


Anonymous said...

Once again read my mind :) In these tough times it makes us reflect about others and reach out even more!!!

Travelin'Oma said...

You are the kind of friend everyone needs. Awesome.