Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day Eleven: Spontaneity lost

Many of you in your mid-thirties may remember an airline about fifteen years ago that had "X Fares", extremely low fares for folks in their late teens/early twenties to fly standby anywhere the airline went. I flew that way a lot in college and spent a lot of time in airports with magazines and music, sometimes getting a spot on a flight, sometimes missing it. I always packed only what I could carry (I hated checking luggage!).

It was a great way to travel and totally inaccessible to me now.

For starters, all of my "baggage" doesn't fit in the overhead bins anymore. My baggage requires baggage of it's own-- carseats and sippy cups, books and diapers and food. I wouldn't trade them for all of the vagabond flights in the world, but they do make things more complicated.

A crazy afternoon going out for ice cream is about as spontaneous as we ever get these days. Spontaneity doesn't really jive well with our temperaments anymore. Today's adventure is a great example. We left Abingdon, sadly, after a great week with The Cousins, for a couple of days in Hendersonville, a lovely little town in the NC mountains. I had found a great little cottage right downtown with space for all of us including the dog. We pulled up after a 2 1/2 hour drive to find that the hotel and cottage were closed. Permanently. Since April. But they had failed to take down their website, including the online reservations service. But but but... I have a confirmation number!!

In the past, I would have relished the adventure, scouted out a coffee shop, sat down and done some research on the next best thing. Or I would have thrown caution to the wind and stayed somewhere weird just for the story.

But I looked up at the closed sign then back at the minivan full of sippies and carseats and diapers and kids and felt panic rising like lava through my system.

It has worked out fine. We're in an interstate motel, one of the few in town that takes dogs. Kids are asleep--their first motel, hooray!-- and I'm headed that way. But I can't help wondering about flexibility and the weightiness that comes with responsibility. I've gone from catamaran to ocean liner in just a few short years. I dearly love my ocean liner but it is really hard to steer.

I think this is intimately related to the question of rest and relaxation. It is hard enough to relax if I am worried about whether I remembered my own toothbrush, but when I have to worry about other peoples' toothbrushes and worry about whether or not the hotel I booked will actually deign to be open when I arrive, it is a recipe for a spot of anxiety.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Noelle, that is completely awful and if you had a meltdown at that moment you would have been justified!