Tuesday, September 7, 2010

S for Stresserella

I am a total Stresserella, lovely reader!! (Not to be confused with her prettier, more even keeled sister, Cinderella.) As you might remember, I’m leaving this Sunday to go to Lake Tahoe for a software conference that work is sending me to. I wish I were more excited, especially since MusicMan is joining me on the trip, but I’m just not. Because I’m overwhelmingly stressed!! I have a lot to do before we go: homework, cleaning the house, doing laundry, packing, etc. And, with a new class starting the day before we leave, I’m really starting to worry about getting behind on class work.

I was hoping to be at least a chapter ahead in algebra class by now, because then I’d have no worries about missing one whole week of class next week. However, I’m only about half a chapter ahead at the moment, so I have some serious catching up to do. With Psychology class starting Saturday, more homework is sure to be added to the mix. I’m starting to feel like I won’t have any free time while we’re in Tahoe, because any time that I’m not at the conference, I’ll need to be working on homework. That translates to this trip being anything but fun, which translates to me being a sad, sad girl.

I was thinking that, if I could get far enough ahead in math, I could create a cushion so that homework wouldn’t get overwhelming once Psychology started. I’m probably stressing more than I need to over this, because I’ve heard that the bulk of Psychology homework is staying on top of reading, but stressing seems to be what I do best. Since I’ve heard that Psychology class mainly consists of lectures, reading, and quizzes, I should be fine as long as I can manage to stay on top of the required reading each week. I’m confident that I’ll figure out a way to get further ahead in algebra; even if that means working on homework through lunch breaks at work, which isn’t ideal, but is an option I can exercise.

I should be able to do some reading and catching up on the plane and in the airport while I wait for my flights, because I have a connection in Phoenix both on the way out and on the way back. Unfortunately, all of my math homework and the textbook are online, so I can’t really do much on the plane. Technically, I’m not behind, so I shouldn’t really worry too much. I’m just not where I thought I would be is all. I hate when things don't work out exactly as I've planned.

Speaking of connecting flights, I’m super worried about that. It’s been years since I’ve flown anywhere, and I’ve never flown anything but direct flights, so I have quite a few concerns. Like: what if they don’t transfer my luggage from plane to plane? It seems that there’s a high likelihood that someone somewhere could mess this up, which could mean my luggage would stay in Phoenix while I go on to Reno. I will pack an outfit in my carry on just in case, but that’s only one outfit; I cannot wear the same outfit for three days! Not to mention that I’d have to go out and buy necessities like: makeup, contact solution, deodorant, lotion, etc.

Also, what if the planes aren’t running on time, causing me to miss my connection?! I have two and a half hours in Phoenix on the way out, so I should be okay there. You don’t often hear of flights running over two hours late. I think…I hope. On the way back, however, there’s only 45 minutes of wait time in Phoenix. The odds of missing that connection seem quite a bit higher, which is so not good. As it stands, if everything works perfectly and I make the connection, I’m set to land back in Minnesota at about 11:30 pm. That’s late; especially considering that I have to work the next day! Can you imagine what will happen if I miss the connection?! That would suck so hard!

I know that I really need to learn not to stress over the things I can’t control. There’s absolutely nothing I can do about either of these situations, so there’s really no use worrying about them. Unless the time comes. And then? I will lose my shit freak the hell out and maybe cry. Let's just hope that all of the pilots, baggage people, and all other airline/airport workers bring their "A game" and that everything runs smoothly.

MusicMan’s best friend, Geoff, is coming to stay at the house to take care of the dogs, which means the house has to be cleaned. MusicMan is going to take care of that this week, but I feel awful that I can’t pitch in and help. My housekeeping skills have been seriously lacking since I started school, and I feel just awful about it. MusicMan doesn’t seem to mind too much, but I don’t like feeling as though he does the bulk of the work while I do nothing. Well, not completely nothing—I do the laundry weekly and wipe down kitchen and bathroom counters daily—but I don’t do as much as MusicMan does to keep our house clean.

I’m super glad and relieved that Geoff was available to take care of the dogs for us. Sending them to doggy daycare would’ve been wicked expensive, and there are not many people we trust with our dogs. I know that sounds crazy and ridiculous, but they’re our kids. I’ll just leave it at that, because I learned long ago that if people don’t understand this, there’s no use in trying to explain it. Let’s just leave it at: we’re those people.

Our parents aren’t necessarily those people (at least not to the degree we are), so they were immediately out of the running. Also, none of them would be able to stay at our house with the dogs, which was ideally what we wanted. While Lucy isn’t very high maintenance, our rescued dog, Dexter, is. Dexter does much better, and would be most comfortable, in the environment that he’s used to. We wanted Lucy and Dexter to be with someone who will take care of them the same way as we would (or as close as possible, at least).

When we started thinking of who to call, we could only think of two people that (1) we trusted enough, (2) would possibly be available to do it without being too put out, and (3) don’t mind that the dogs sleep in the bed: Geoffy and CousinFriend. Since Geoffy is a single guy with no other obligations, we called him first. Thankfully he was available. I have two pages of notes and instructions ready for him.

I know that probably sounds ridiculous, but in my defense, half a page of notes is miscellaneous stuff like: make sure to jiggle the toilet handle if the toilet runs, how to clean up any “accidents” Dexter might have, and instructions for logging on to the internet, using the TV and remotes, etc. Also, we feed our dogs a raw diet, so feeding them isn’t just as easy as pouring kibble into a bowl. (Though we do feed pre-made raw food, so it’s not too time consuming either. It’s just that the food needs to be thawed overnight, portioned out, and cut up, and a clean bowl needs to be used for each meal.) This is the first time we’ll be away from the dogs for so long, and also the first time we’re leaving them in someone else’s care, so hopefully it goes well.

To summarize, I’m a total Stresserella and have a lot of things to get done in the next few days! Please keep your fingers crossed for me, lovely reader.

Have you ever flown with connecting flights? How’d it go? (And, if it didn’t go well, just pretend I didn’t ask.)
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  2. I've never flown a connecting flight either because I have those same fears!! I hope everything works out splendidly for you, and that you have a great time!

  3. If we didn't have some control over our lives, the elements would consumme us.

    I don't know that I, a constant worry wart, would have done anything different, dear friend.

    Er, that's probably not very helpful to you, eh? ;)

    I hope you found a way to enjoy your trip and still be able to get done all that lies burdoned on your shoulders.

    Thinking of you in kinship and sisterhood.

    Peace and serenity,

  4. If you can manage it, its always good to just go with carry on. I am a worrier too with things that I can't control, and all you can do is have faith that your bags will arrive safely or you can take that control (and your bags) for yourself.
    As for missing your connections, flight staff are usually really good at doing whatever they can to get you to your flight on time (calling ahead to wait even, if need be). I've had some close calls, but have always made it.
    And my hubs and I are "those" people too...I feel there is nothing wrong with extensive notes to ensure your babies are properly taken care of. They can't speak for themselves, afterall.
    Enjoy your, albeit stressful, trip!

  5. Thanks, lovely friend. I did manage to find a way to get everything done, and my travel worries were thankfully unfounded. Now, I'm gonna try to make my way over to catch up on your blog!!! (Blog reading is the only thing I'm still behind on.)

  6. Unfortunately, I couldn't just do carry one, because I am an over-packer, and since this was a work event, I had to pack a few suite jackets and slacks. I just couldn't manage to cram it all into a carry on, but am thankful that my bags did arrive safely.

    I noticed that the flight staff was really, really good about making sure people made connections or got flights rescheduled, which was very reassuring.

    YAY for more of "those" people!!! I always like to know that there are more of "us" out there! :-) You make a very good point: they can't speak for themselves. It becomes imperative for us to say all that needs to be said for them to be taken care of in the best way. And, they were.

    Definitely enjoyed the trip...the stress melted away after a good night of sleep after arriving in Lake Tahoe.

  7. Fingers firmly crossed for you. I've taken dozens of flights-with-connections and haven't had a problem yet - I'm sure you'll be fine. And if your luggage goes missing, that's a nice excuse to buy some more clothes using your insurance money ;)

  8. Thanks, Rachel! That definitely eases my mind a bit; especially considering how much travel I've read about you doing. And, of course, having an excuse to buy new clothes is never a bad thing--way to look at the bright side!

  9. You will be fine! I have flown a lot and have never missed a connecting flight. Stop worrying about it all and just relax!!! As for you dogs being your kids I totally understand because my two cats are the same way!

  10. Good to know, Margaret! I always freak out about the unknown...that's just the way I roll. LOL. You've eased my fears a bit. As for the kids, I knew that you of all people would understand because you have your cubs.

  11. First...the school thing...I don't know how you manage to work and do school and blog. I am constantly amazed that you fit it all in. You are an inspiration to me...seriously.

    Second...the dog thing...I get it. When we went to Aruba we only did so because my mother agreed to watch our dogs. No one else would have been good enough. If she couldn't do it we were staying home. We also left here many pages of notes and instructions. It doesn't seem so complicated when I take care of them, but it really is. There are certain nuances involved with getting my girls to eat and go do their business that I never realized until I was telling my mom about it. Oh...and I got a $300 phone bill from the time I was away because I called and texted constantly to make sure everything was ok. It was sick. I know. I don't care who judges me. They are my babies.

    Third...a raw food diet? I'm so curious about this. We do organic kibble, but I'm always looking for ways to improve their diets. I'm going to have to do some research.

  12. Aww, shucks, thanks! Unfortunately, when things get really hectic, the blog is the first thing to really suffer. I am endlessly grateful for my faithful readers (like you) who stick around even though my blogging schedule is so erratic.

    I knew there would be people who did understand the dog thing. MusicMan and I were amazed, as we actually wrote out instructions, how much work it seems to take to manage our dogs. Of course, they're absolutely worth it! I totally don't judge you for a $300 phone bill; that actually makes sense to me! LOL

    Yes. A raw food diet. We don't feed "prey model" like some of the more hardcore raw feeders. We use pre-made, frozen patties that are meat, organs, and a few veggies, and we supplement with whole sardines, cottage cheese, meaty bones, etc. Feeding raw can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be. With our two small dogs, we have to give up about the equivalent of a meal out per week in order to pay for their food. That's a tradeoff we're willing to make.

    Lucy has horrible allergies to many foods and environmental factors. We were very very limited in the kibble we could feed her, and when we found out that the natural, organic food we were feeding her (the second or third food we'd moved to for various reasons) contained a known carcinogenic preservative, we started looking into raw. After lots of research, we decided to try pre-made raw, and we've been doing that for over a year now. Lucy's allergies are completely gone (we used to have to give her children's Benadryl every night), and we always get comments from the vet about how healthy and fit they are. (They are especially amazed that our Pug isn't overweight, because most are.)

  13. I tagged you on my blog


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