The first step

Packer’s Anonymous

Admit you have a problem November 13, 2022

Dear Packer’s Anonymous,

I am a wreck and I desperately need your help.

I am a terrible trip packer.

What is wrong with me?

My mind becomes a swirl whenever I have a trip and I have to think about what to pack.

It should be easy.  I mean, count out the number of days, an outfit a day, toiletries and an extra pair of underwear and socks. For whatever reason, this process sends me into a tailspin.

The first problem is that I hate putting outfits together–and then sticking to the plan.  I have this fear that whatever I decide to wear for one (or all) of the days, I will decide I don’t want to wear on the day of or any other day for that matter.  

Kate, age 11, Heathrow Airport, 12 hours after a packing swirl. The problem started at a very young age.

What if the outfit makes me feel fat when I put it on, or (I deem in my mind) it’s not appropriate for the situation? Which I don’t know why I would ever think the latter, because these days anything goes for attire.

What ends up happening is that I fret for days, before departure. I have these notions in my head that I will get it together beforehand, but then I don’t.  I set myself up for failure every time because I keep pushing off the inevitable until T-minus 1 hour before I am supposed to leave.

The reality is that in that hour before I leave–which most of it comes together the last half hour before go time–I run all over the house like my hair is on fire, madly throwing this and that in my duffel bag, reaching for beauty products out of my bathroom and throwing them into a plastic bag, praying to the high heavens that I got everything.

The kids, knowing how this works, stand back and just watch from command central, the kitchen. They are ready at any given moment to go fetch, throw this in the car, grab that, and more! It’s ridiculous! Really, truly I am a mess!

Packer’s Anonymous, what do I do?  Do you have a person who can come over and hold my hand the day before departure and force me to put outfits together and place them in a suitcase?  Is there someone who can raise their magic wand and pack everything for me, so I don’t have to get a headache with all of the choices and then decisions that are demanded I make in the process?

I am desperate. As these kids go further and further away from me geographically, I am doing more and more traveling. Expectations need to be met for attending industry conferences and events as well. Not to mention, it would be so nice to go on vacation without this stress.

They say the first step to fixing a problem is to be able to admit that you have one.  I am sure those around me have seen this coming for years.  With this last trip, I have hit rock bottom, and I think that I am ready to claw my way out of this lifelong rut.

Packer’s Anonymous, my name is Kate, and I have a packing problem.

Desperately yours,