Yes!  We did it!  Selected “next” and “continue,” agreed that we had indeed–which of course we hadn’t!–read all the fine print, and provided our credit card numbers and… we’ve booked our flights to and from Madrid.  Yikes!

Ok, so it wasn’t as easy as I just made it sound.  I wish!  Barb–who joins me for the first half of my trek–arrived with her iPod in tow about 2:00 pm yesterday and we both got online, searching for flight bargains with the aid of Google flights.  Three hours later, after numerous false starts, lots of consternation, scribbles, statements like “oops, that won’t work” as we discounted long layovers, sleeping in a terminal at JFK, and flights which would preclude using the Bloomington-to-Indy shuttle, we gave each other high-fives and checked one very pressing thing off our list.

Those three hours were harder, and without a doubt more nerve-wracking, than any hikes I’ve done lately.  More expensive, too!  A typical hike of late has cost me $1.29, the price of a pair of air-activated heat packs to keep my hands warm.  Our airfare?  We’re pleased enough with the prices we got, but not shouting them from the rooftop.  I generally finish a hike waxing poetic about its beauty; we wrapped up our booking session yesterday thinking that our dinner might go down a lot better if accompanied by something alcoholic.

I wrote a post just over a week ago (7 x 7 = another goal met) in which I had some fun playing with the number 7.  Well, what do you know: 77 mornings from now, I’ll be heading for the airport!

April 2

So… why have I been awake since 1:30 am?  Why was I sitting in front of the computer by 3:30, counting sheep, counting blessings, praying for friends having failed to quiet my mind and let me sink back into slumber?  Purchasing my tickets, having a firm departure date, proving once and for all a complete commitment to the Camino….  I expected to sleep like a baby.  Instead, I find myself going over and over in my mind some of the finer details of the flights:

  • what if I can’t compress my backpack enough for it to be considered a carry-on?
  • what if that travel insurance I purchased with the tickets doesn’t really cover what I need it to?
  • what if early April brings one of those big Northeastern snow dumps?
  • what if, horror of horrors I forget my passport or drivers license…?  (Can’t you just hear me talking to myself and falling victim to the following logic?  “Katy, you won’t need that; you’re going to be walking, for crying out loud!!!”  Yeah, I’d be crying all right!…
  • what if…?
  • and so on…

I might have answered those questions with another set:

  • what if you just relaxed?
  • what if you practiced “trust” and realized that yours are truly 1st world problems?
  • what if you remembered that “sufficient unto the day are the troubles therein?” and you focused on NOW instead of on 77 days from now? or if you told yourself not to sweat the “small stuff” (which is everything, right?)?  or repeated either of these mantras to ease into sleep: “it’s all good” or “all will be well and all will be well and all manner of things will be well”
  • what if you had to pay to check your bag?   It wouldn’t be the end of the world.
  • what if you take half a benadryl or even a whole one the next time your mind goes into overdrive?
  • what if you tried listening to some harp music on your iPod?
  • what if…?

So many solutions. Instead of implementing any of those great ideas, however, I got up to write this post.  And now?  Still kind of early for even an early breakfast.  What if I…?