Ninety. Two. Days.
Holy shit. It's almost 2017. Three months left. This countdown - I can feel it burning inside my chest. Every day another etched line -- deteriorating, tumbling down the hourglass like grains of sand -- disappearing like vapor behind us.
Christmas came and Tyler and I found ourselves looking at flashlights on keychains, money belts, sturdy zippable laundry bags, quick-drying T-shirts. Everything is so real.
We did a practice run packing. Partially to see what we have and what we needed, partially to feel how much it would all weight, and partially for the thrill of it all. This is all so real.
We took off the week between Christmas and New Years so we could spend more time together. 11 days of being together. It's been absolute heaven. Yesterday we didn't even get out of bed until 2pm. We napped and cuddled and dozed. At one point Tyler fell asleep with his face firmly against the nape of my neck. His lilting breaths were lapping at my skin. He sounded like the ocean. I was transported to a warm beach. Soft sand clinging to our balmy skin, us tucked up together under some partial shade. I could hear the waves. I almost started crying it felt so beautiful being wrapped up in his arms. I'm aching for April.
What's important, really?
Packing for this trip feels like a metaphor for life. What do you need? And, what do you love so much you'd carry its weight even if it may not be necessary?
We're packing practically, taking only the essentials. But there's still creature comforts, or things that act as creative catalysts, that we're taking along, too. Cameras, drones, harmonicas.
As we near closer to our final day of departure, I've been thinking a lot about what do I need? I've spent the last 15 months of my life at Facebook, and the 10 years of work before that, not really knowing how to balance my life, how to do the things I need to stay happy, productive, creative. "Work-Life Balance" to me has always been more of "if you don't burn out, you didn't try hard enough (and everyone thinks you're a failure)."
What do I need?
I need my husband. I need long periods of quality time where I look at him and not a screen, where I hear him, where we laugh, where we touch.
I need space and time for creative thought. I need rambling thoughts, long writing sessions, moments to hum and sing and make rhythms on anything around me.
I need the closeness of friends and family. Deep conversations that make me take notice of what's inside my heart, mind, and soul. People who challenge me to think deeper, broader, more openly. Who teach me things about the world and myself.
Those are my soul's essentials. I guess I didn't say 16 pairs of shoes, or makeup, or fashion -- although fashion really is gonna be a tough one to give up. ;-)
Now, after this year of travel, will I learn how to work just enough so that I can be fulfilled at work, be productive at whatever I'm doing, but still leave time for those three most important things? Time will only tell, but it's time to get to work -- on myself.