I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Travel week

Toddlers out for a walk
One of the scenes I never tire of seeing is this one, many small children out for an excursion hanging onto this ingenious little rope. There are handles on the rope, giving the kids something to hold onto instead of a hand, and two adults, one in front and the other bringing up the rear. They can take as many as ten or twelve toddlers safely out for a walk. They never fail to elicit smiles from passersby.

I wish there were some little handle for me to hold onto this week, as I venture out into the world again. Once upon a time, I loved to travel and looked forward to it with anticipation. Now I am filled less with anticipation than I am with anxiety. I will miss my routine, my partner, my nice comfy bed. It's Sunday, and this Wednesday I will board a bus to travel south to Portland to stay with a fellow skydiver. The next morning we will fly to the Ontario, California airport and rent a car, drive to Lake Elsinore and check into our hotel. Then we will go to the Drop Zone and register for the event that has been arranged by a fellow JOS (Jumper Over Seventy). All over the west coast there are other JOS members who are doing the same thing we are doing, traveling.

Last April I traveled to Lake Elsinore for an SOS event (Skydivers Over Sixty) and expected to have four full days of skydiving with my peers. But the weather didn't cooperate and I was only able to jump one of those four days. Those turned out to be very expensive skydives, if you consider how much it cost for me to get there and watch the low clouds day after day. But I met many wonderful people and Frankie is one of them. We ended up sharing a hotel room and when I learned that she lives in Portland, we decided we could just share all our expenses, such as the car and hotel, which will make this trip much less expensive for each of us. I hope we get to skydive to our heart's content this time.

Travel is stressful for most of us, but I managed to catch a bad cold during my travels in the springtime and spent a week coughing and sneezing after I returned home. I didn't sleep well while at the hotel and worried about whether I would be able to perform adequately in the air, since I had just finished a six-month winter break. As it turned out, I didn't need to worry because I did just fine in those four jumps I actually accomplished, and we even managed to set a record for the most SOS women in a formation (six, which has already been broken). Frankie and I are the only two JOS women who will attend this event, so if we get together in a formation of two, we will set a record as well. Frankie was in the previous SOS formation.

I am also going to be eating food that I don't usually allow myself, restaurant food that is more calorie-laden than my usual fare. Ever since I gave up wheat and sugar, I've gotten into the habit of eating much the same thing every day. Both of those items have crept back into my diet in small amounts, and if I end up having a pizza while traveling, I will enjoy it and won't even worry a little bit about the calories. I will enter them into my Lose It app on my iPhone and keep track of what I eat. It has become a real lifesaver for me, since it allows me to be aware when I get close to my daily limit, and I will either stop eating or make a decision to go into the red zone for the day. I have managed to maintain my weight at the lower level for two years now. I have about two or three hundred calories to "spend" any way I want daily, which is often a nice healthy dessert after dinner. But sometimes there are no extra calories left, so I go without. It works for me.

My dreams this past week have been filled with struggles, too. I dreamt that I had forgotten to print out my boarding pass for the plane, and when I went to the desk to get help, the woman disappeared while I waited anxiously. I heard over the loudspeaker that the plane was boarding, and then I realized I had left my purse in the other room. I woke up filled with anxiety but glad to realize it was just a dream. I'll be at Frankie's Wednesday evening, and I'll have company for the entire trip except for the bus ride to Portland. That helps me with my travel worries.

Next Sunday I will be writing a post from my hotel room in Lake Elsinore, probably propped up in bed with this same laptop and writing in the dark while Frankie sleeps in the other bed. I'm a much earlier riser than most people. The sun won't come up for another hour and a half, and this is the time of day I enjoy more than any other. It's dark and quiet, my partner is sleeping next to me, and I've just finished my tea. After I complete this post, I will pack up for a Sunday trip into the High Country with Al and two others. We have been having an every-other-Monday "extra" hike all summer long, but the weather looks pretty awful tomorrow, so a few of us are going out today to check out the condition of one of our favorite hikes on Goat Mountain. I'll miss the usual Thursday hike so I'm glad to be getting outdoors today. We might be turned back by snow, since we just finished a very wet period here in the Pacific Northwest. I'll have my camera and will document the day, as is my habit these days.

Until next Sunday's missive from Lake Elsinore, be well and have a wonderful week. I am hoping I will too, travel and all!


gigihawaii said...

There are so many wonderful tidbits in your post today, but what really struck me was your statement that you avoid wheat and sugar. Wow, I find that very difficult, as I love cookies and cakes. However, I have gained so much weight I often feel bloated and uncomfortable. I have decided to try your regimen as of now and see where that takes me. Bon voyage, DJan.

KH said...

Wishing you a calm, happy & safe trip!

Deb Shucka said...

I look forward to hearing about your latest adventure. I'm proud of you for pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Even though the rope isn't physical, I offer you a handle in my prayers and all the light I can send your way. I can't believe you're going to be driving right past me and I won't get to see you. Yet. :-)

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Oh, don't you hate anxiety dreams? They are always worse than the real thing, at least in my experience. So I hope your travel goes smoothly, your hotel bed is comfy, skies are clear, and good food (nutritious, low-fat, not dependent on wheat and sugar) is plentiful. I love that your quest is to get into the record books! Jump well, JOS.

Gigi said...

Safe travels, my friend. And I hope you get to play in the sky to your hearts content.

Glenda C. Beall said...

anxiety dreams! I hate them. Half my life I struggled with anxiety and I am trying my best live the rest, however long, with as little anxiety as possible.
Now that I am not going to be a "perfectionist" anymore, I think I can reduce anxiety much better.
Have a great trip and come home safely.

Rian said...

DJan, I too used to love to travel, and lately find that like you, it now tends to make me anxious. Why is that? Is it an age thing? The funny thing is that I still 'feel' like I want to travel... but when it comes down to actually acting on it, I tend to back off. I'm glad that you don't seem to hesitate. I hope you have a wonderful trip!

Linda Myers said...

It will be good for you to have company on this trip. Nice that you and Frankie are good travel companions.

Red said...

Sometimes it's good to get out of the routine. A strict routine tends to bring on anxiety when we have to change.
Enjoy the trip.

Arkansas Patti said...

Hope you have perfect weather for you trip and record setting jump.
Don't ya hate those anxiety dreams? Only good thing about them is the waking up part.
Have a great week.

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

I remember the days when getting on a plane was an adventure. I guess these days you have to look at it all as part of the journey, TSA, cramped seats and all. Hope your journey is splendid.

Retired English Teacher said...

I understand your uneasy feelings. I get that way when I travel too. I've always been that way. I hate to leave my home. Once, I'm on my way, I'm fine. It is idea of leaving that puts me on edge.

You will have a great time. Have fun. I love your adventuresome spirit.

Rita said...

I didn't used to mind traveling at all--even though I've never slept well when I'm not in my own bed. These days I have anxiety over just leaving the apartment--LOL! My how life can change. But my body served me well for decades, so I can't (or shouldn't) complain. Enjoy your trip. I am glad you two will share the travels and expenses this time. :)

Dee said...

Dear DJan, I trust all will go well with your travels and your skydiving. And yet I recognize the anxiety that now comes with traveling. I'm getting ready to go off on a two-week vacation in November and already I'm making lists and stewing about packing and going through the airport lines. I haven't flown since 1999 and so all the security and baggage checking, etc., will be new to me.

I wish you a lovely week and the hope that once you arrive in Portland and hook up with your friend, Frankie, you will truly enjoy everything that happens. And.....you will come home healthy and happy. Peace.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Maybe you can take a lesson from the toddlers when lining up to skydive:)