The final decisions

We were going through our things tonight. We have a large maybe pile of things we may want to take with us (in addition to a much larger pile of things we are definitely not taking with us). This pile is the culmination of all of our planning and packing and putting aside anything we think might be useful on the trip. Now the job is to make those final decision about what is going with us and what is not.

So what is it about us that makes these decisions so difficult? Both Theresa and I have spent much of the day sitting in the basement with this pile completely immobilized by the whole process. There’s so much to consider, so many scenarios to envision. How many sets of clothes to take, which shirts balance which pants in the best combinations. How many possible layers to take. Whether to take waterproof pants. What electronics to take, and what plugs and adapters to take to make sure they can get power, including redundancies. What to include in our first aid kit, and what container to put all of these components in. What toiletries are really necessary and which are luxuries we can do without. What types of entertainment to take, and how much. Each decision has two important aspects to balance: how much they will improve our experience, and how much it will weigh us down to to carry it around.

We’ll eventually make all of these decisions, for better or for worse, and we will learn whether we chose right when the time comes. And fortunately, Theresa has already put a general packing list online to work from (unfortunately, I am a procrastinator and have done no such thing myself). But its one thing to make a list and its another to actually pull out those items and leave everything else behind. The questioning comes … the what ifs flow. Every possible permutation comes to mind. What is it about us that can’t just let go, throw what’s on our list in a bag and call it settled? After all, nearly everything we’ll need we’ll be able to buy almost anywhere we end up, almost certainly at a cheaper price.

I think it has to do with the principle of the thing. Of not wanting to be wrong. Of being comprehensively prepared. Being in control of the situation … oh, I have anticipated this problem have the answer for that right here. And the finality of the decisions is always harder than a decision you can easily fix. While I may be able to get a shirt in Argentina, I certainly won’t be able to grab my favorite lightweight polo that just got the ax. What about you? Do you find packing easy or hard? Does it bother you to think you may be missing something you might need down the road, or do you have the faith that you’ll come up with something (or the knowledge to know you couldn’t possibly be missing anything)? Fortunately, we’ve got three more days to finish this project!