Life in the Spectrum – Travel Anxiety Overload – Don’t Panic

***Originally posted on https://lifeinthespectrum.com/.

I could be scheduled for a flight to the moon, and I would be happy as a clam as long as my family was by my side. But the moment I have to take a trip by myself, I’m basically purchasing a first class ticket to Crazyville (because one should never book economy class when flying into insanity).

I blame my kids. I was normal before they came along. Clarification – I was normal-ish specifically with regard to travel (but absolutely nothing else at all). The moment the mini-Jos appeared – boom – separation anxiety mania. Again with the clarification – my separation anxiety, not theirs. My children are annoyingly chill when I’m away. Although my husband vehemently denies it, I firmly believe that he intravenously supplements their diets with a chocolate drip while I’m away. (Lucky kids.) There is also a strong possibility that’s he’s just an amazing father. (Lucky all of us.)

But I have no chocolate I.V. and am therefore significantly less copacetic about the situation. I just worry about… (insert any random / statistically improbable / impossible occurrence that your brain can conjur here). Burglaries (I can walk to the police station from my house), plane crash (stats don’t support that), car crash (my being there won’t change those stats), pool accidents (we have no pool), illness (and on the 8th day God created pediatricians), flash hurricanes preventing me from returning home (yeah so that’s not a thing in the Gulf of Mexico but there was a tropical storm that actually did appear overnight in Houston several years ago – Tropical Storm Allison – huge mess!), or alien invasions (of the off planet kind that will probably necessitate a space wall courtesy of our new space army).

And then there’s the whole general social anxiety thing. I fake it damn well, but I am actually completely overwhelmed when I am out of my personal zone and away from my people. The littlest thing will send me into an internal panic, and I become particularly nervous when I have to go into the office for the first time in months. As an embarrassing example, I typically try to fly in the evening before I need to be there because I dread having a ton of faces turn my way when I walk onto the work floor unexpectedly mid workday. I feel like Norm in that old show “Cheers” when everyone greets me except I have zero comfort with finding myself in the spotlight and wish that I could do a sneaky army crawl and pop up unnoticed behind my computer screens. But even that spotlight doesn’t hold a candle to the discomfort I feel with regard to the hug gauntlet I must traverse if I’m not there before most of the team arrives.

There are ten thousand people en route to my desk (give or take about ten thousand people), and I feel obligated to hug them all. It started years ago with a small group of people and has since grown to comical proportions as the team has become very large. Ironically I actually am a total hugger and genuinely love my team members, so it’s not the actual hug part of the show that unnerves me. I just have no interest in perfunctory hugs for the whole work floor and get seriously weirded out when I feel like everyone is watching (which in reality is not actually happening). In addition I am acutely aware that some people don’t like to be hugged ever but then they will look weird, too, if they don’t join in on the team lovin’ so bring it on in here big guy! Eck.

As I have made it to town already, I should be there early enough to evade the excessive team P.D.A. lovefest. There will be a hug here and there, but I will be able to skip out on the over-thinking of my emotions and whatever additional emotional story I create in my mind for the non-huggers. Crisis aversion TBA.

The world will keep spinning. It will be fine. I will be fine. And so will my kids and my husband. We always are.

Hugs to all! Jo

**I will update you on my wacky Jo work trip tales because they always happen regardless of my plans to the contrary. They work out every time, but I never seem to have bland travels. If you have any funny travel tales of your own, I would love to read them. Feel free to tag me and post a link to it the comments on https://lifeinthespectrum.com/. 🙂

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. shoreacres
    Jul 09, 2018 @ 05:19:16

    I laughed at your description of the “hug gauntlet.” I don’t mind an occasional hug, but perfunctory hugs drive me crazy. And I loved seeing “copacetic” tucked there in the middle of a paragraph. That’s a word I grew up with, and rarely come across now.

    Reply

    • Jo Price
      Jul 09, 2018 @ 23:56:07

      I think only children of the 70s and 80s who actually discovered copacetic in the 90s even register that word now! 😉 I love that it resounded with you, too. And yes – I’m so with you. I am actually an avid genuine hugger but it’s like conversation – it’s weird, uncomfortable, and overall sucky when it feels forced!

      Reply

  2. LA
    Jul 09, 2018 @ 06:45:47

    Love this as always!!! Miss you and really really really promise you a good long email!! Xoxoxo❤️❤️😀❤️😀😀

    Reply

    • Jo Price
      Jul 09, 2018 @ 23:57:37

      Don’t sweat it love!!! Really! We will get all caught up soon. Btw I’m going to tag you in a b&w photo challenge but I don’t want you to worry at all about having to get it knocked out. If you do it, great! If not, also great! I’ve just had you on the brain and wanted to give you a shout out. ❤️

      Reply

  3. Kendra Lee
    Jul 09, 2018 @ 15:53:01

    I don’t freak out when I am traveling… but I DO freak out when I have to leave my kid in Florida with my parents & my sister. It’s completely irrational (car accidents… SO WORRIED about car accidents). God forbid they not answer my text RIGHT AWAY when I inquire about my kid’s well-being. Ugh. It’s awful to feel that way. But, tbh, I give myself props for letting her go to Florida anyway. Regardless of my loopy fears. That’s a step in the right direction 🙂

    Reply

    • Jo Price
      Jul 09, 2018 @ 23:59:24

      Yeah I have to say that you basically butt-kicked me in the awesome parent department on every level for letting your kid do that. That is fantastic! Lucky kid of yours. Be warned – three others from Texas may be calling you soon for a mom-to-mom intervention. 😉

      Reply

      • Kendra Lee
        Jul 10, 2018 @ 14:47:11

        Ha! I’d totally do a mom-to-mom intervention. What made it even easier for me to let her go this year was when I discovered that a friend of mine in the neighborhood sends her kid to FL to stay with her family (and his 9 cousins) FOR THE ENTIRE SUMMER. After that, one week didn’t seem so bad. 🙂

      • Jo Price
        Jul 10, 2018 @ 23:59:15

        Everything is relative! 😂

  4. Inside The Rainbow
    Jul 13, 2018 @ 01:26:04

    No chocolate? Damn! 😉 X

    Reply

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