Unreasonable anxiety

As the conference approaches (leaving tomorrow), I have more and more anxiety about the whole thing.  I was freaking out about renting a car and maybe getting lost or the car breaking down (not to mention the expense), so I ditched the car and now I’m worried about what happens if I need to go to the store because the airline lost my luggage and I have deodorant.  So then I think, well, I’ll bring my deodorant in my carry-on, and an extra shirt and underwear just in case my luggage gets lost and then I worry about my deodorant getting confiscated by security for being the wrong size and then I’m back to the problem of having no deodorant.  Maybe the answer is to have two deodorants?

And then there’s the flight back.  The conference ends with lunch from noon-2 and my flight’s not until 5pm.  Then, there’s a four hour layover in Dulles before the very long flight back.  What will I do during all of that time?  I hope I can sleep on the flight but that still leaves me with all the extraneous time in the airport.  Why this freaks me out, I have no idea.  Now, if I was traveling with small children and had to keep them entertained all that time, that might be something to freak out about.  But, it’s just myself I have to try to keep entertained.

Somehow, the conference itself doesn’t seem as scary as the traveling, I’m not sure why.  I guess because if I completely freak out, I can go hide in my hotel room if I have to.  The traveling makes me feel…trapped, I guess.  Trapped in one place with no where to go and nothing that can be done if I’m uncomfortable or freaking out.

I hate having all of this anxiety and feeling like I’m completely messed up.

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13 thoughts on “Unreasonable anxiety

  1. A good book and your knitting should cover you at the airport. If you don’t feel like doing either one of those, power walk up and down the airport corridors – get some good exercise!

    As for books: I just started Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel The Lacuna and it seems very good (as usual!) If you don’t want to buy/bring a hardcover and haven’t read her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle I would HIGHLY recommend that one! It is AWESOME!!

    Go to a bookstore today and get a book or two! Also, a magazine or two in case you don’t feel like focusing on your book.

    Good luck and hope you have a good time!

  2. Dulles has free wifi right now, in case you care. And deodorant is usually for sale in the airport gift shop.

    Airports definitely have an anxious atmosphere. It is the light and the acoustics. The unpredictable intercoms. That feeling like there are people on all sides of you. The awkward seating. There isn’t really anywhere to BE. They used to blare the news on the airport TVs, that was horrible, it seems they got the memo have cut back on that. I sometimes try getting a drink at the bar, but it never helps.

    I spend a lot of time in airports these days. What helps me is my ipod. I now have some pricey sound-blocking earphones, and they are paradise. I recommend an album from Brian Eno called “Music for Airports.” It is this weird ambient noise album, the sort of thing that you would hear in a spa or yoga class. But it is just what it says it is, music for airports, a calming force for a stressful place.

    • Free wi-fi is great. Then I can mess around online and time seems to pass quickly. However, I really have to find a place to plug in my laptop as my battery won’t hold a charge these days. But, I should be able to find an outlet _somewhere_. “Music for Airports” sounds great.

  3. If the airline lost your luggage, perhaps just buy your deodorant at one of the airport gift shops before you leave.

    Oh wait – that’s been suggested. Well, double @yolio, then… 🙂

    Best wishes for safe, anxiety-minimized travel –

  4. Books and knitting help me! Also, until 30 minutes before your flight, sit at different gates where there are no flights leaving from. That way you can spread out and not have to be around people.

    Have fun!

    • I second what Alyssa says. Hanging out and having space is nice.

      I never have the attention span to really read books in the airport- I’m all keyed up, so for me, magazines help. Or newspapers. Or blogs 🙂 Also, giftshop browsing. And using my time to email/call all those people who keep getting bumped off my “must call immediately” list. Or writing letters. And of course to-do lists.

      Good luck and HAVE FUN!

  5. Most hotels will give you those little things that are easily forgotten (or sell them if nothing else)…hope that quells a little anxiety.. Ican get obsessed worrying about little, but important! little, things so I thought it might be helpful to think of this. Have a good trip — you can always buy whatever you forget (my husband’s travel mantra…)

  6. Say hello to Sci at the conference! I will be the one with the crocheting (though I may not bring it to the conference itself). We can compare.

    Also, you can always ask someone who’s driving in to take you to the store. There are some close by. Fear not!

    • Will definitely say hi, Sci! But, I’ll be there under my real name so I’ll have to whisper to you who I am. 🙂

  7. Traveling is stressful, whether you’re rushing along or just stuck waiting. After all our holiday flying in the last month, believe me, I understand what you’re feeling to some degree. You’re not messed up. Hugs.

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