Packing Light

Today, I started packing for my trip to see my FOO, DH’s FOO and N friends and good friends (thank you for them).  As I looked at the weather forecast for the places I will be visiting, I realised that it is exceptionally cold this time of year.  I got a little panicky as I’m not used to this weather anymore nor do I own a heavy duty winter coat.

As I started fitting my stuff into my suitcase, I realised my packing habits have changed over the years.  Instead of being worried about my clothing for cold and snow I worry more about if I’m mentally ready for the visit.

Packing for a visit to see family and friends that are dysfunctional (near or far) seems to involve some extra thought.  It got me wondering:

how do you pack for a visit or what do you take with you when seeing your dysfunctional family and/or friends?

List of extras I’m bringing:

1.  Notebook. I take this notebook most places with me today, I carry it in my purse.  It’s a place to jot down my thoughts or ideas and remember how I handled difficult situations.  I started this about a year ago and I’ll have to purchase a new one soon!

2.  Workout Stuff. It’s my escape at home so taking part of my normal routine with me.

3.  Fellow bloggers.  Well, all of you would be difficult to fit into my suitcase (as the airlines have an even stricter limit).  I’ll take with me your words and posts as I walk into battle.pack

3.  Relax time. I did schedule a hair appointment.  I think that will help.  I’m also reading a fun book, no self-help to read before bed.

4.  Fantastic pair of shoes. I don’t know why but when I wear a great pair of shoes I feel better.  Often (because of the cold), I pack appropriate shoes for the weather and they never look fantastic.  So for all the dinners and get togethers I’m wearing one of my favourite pair (and I’ll keep the bulky comfortable ones nearby 😉 ).

5. Narrowed it down. I believe I’m made good progress this year and some of the things I’ve learned are not quite at my disposal yet and often I tend to make the need to practice overwhelming and stressful.  So I narrowed it down to one thing this year.  Listening.  Even to the ones who behave narcissistically.  I have a bad habit even when I’m deliberately trying to be silent of tuning out.  This doesn’t help when I want to speak up about something.  I need to listen better.  Listen and Pause.

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

Hugs, TR



21 thoughts on “Packing Light

  1. Love it. Love it. Love it. A great toolkit. If only we could make ourselves invisible and come with you and stand by your side… Still, we will be supporting you and cheering you on from the distance 😉
    Much love,
    Kara xxoo


  2. Hang in there TR! I’ll be thinking of you. Christmas is one of the few times I’ve set the boundary of “no family” (how ironic is that?) but I’ll be “doing battle” the day after.
    I love what you are packing. I think the notebook is huge. I took notes after NM’s last visit and that helped a lot. And I think fun shoes are a must. 🙂
    I’ll be looking for any new posts and cheering you on!


    • Thank you! I love that boundary and will be thinking of you also the day after. I didn’t think I would use the notebook that much when I bought but have since filled it up. Hahaha, yes the shoes! A definite, I’m so happy to bring them even if it is going to be 5F in the evenings. Hugs, TR


  3. I love the shoes! I’m only now starting to create a confidence wardrobe. A long way to go yet. Notebook is a great idea. As to your fellow bloggers, we’re as close as a computer, always. 🙂 Listening is excellent. Praying you’re pleasantly surprised by how much progress you’ve made. God bless.


  4. TR, What a wonderful blog you have made and a lovely post with these suggestions. Your #5 is beautiful, especially about listening.

    As you do, I take a notebook on these trips and a small 12-Step daily reader as well.

    Bon voyage.


  5. Love this post SO MUCH! Brilliant. How do you “pack” when all you really want to do is lose the bad psychic luggage that’s weighed you down for years? You’ve nailed it here. Remember our other ACoN survival tips: minimum eye contact with narcs. Look at their foreheads when they talk, or their noses. They don’t even notice, but it gives you distance. Play dumb: you are thick as a plank, accept no hints. Act like you are Rain Man. No “catching” their feelings. Their feelings are theirs. Period. Period. And we will be with you all the way, riding on your shoulders. Keep that in mind. Looking forward to the post-visit briefing. love and safe travels, CS


    • Yes! All I want to do is lose the bad psychic luggage that has weighed me down! So true.

      It is funny how they don’t notice that you are not looking directly at them. I’m taking all this with me and I know that your words will come to me when I need them, they did on the last visit. Thank you so much for the support and I’ll be taking good notes to report back. Love, TR


  6. I love number 5…..I think I will pack that one too. I think part of my melt down was trying to focus on too much and ended up on not being able to focus on anything. Thanks for another tool in my thriving case.


    • Hi CZ,
      Haha! Thank you so much for the support!

      Thank you so much for the nomination, I will check it out!
      PS Will catch up with you on your side.


  7. Notebook seems like a great idea. And a book you’ve been working on. I tend to find a lot of down time while traveling, so book or magazine that I’ve been wanting to read..usually gets read lol.


  8. Pingback: The Past, Mindfulness and Future | In Bad Company

  9. Pingback: Prepare for Family visits | PTSD - Accepting, Coping, Thriving


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