Last week I made an expensive mistake.
But let me back up.
Coming out of several months of going from one intense project to the next in multiple states, driving 1400 miles at the end of October, moving residences four times in November – with all the gear I thought I might need when I packed my travel capsule in July (knowing I would have three months in Portland and a trip to Arizona, unsure of exact timing, not aware that I would also fly back to Indiana twice for business) – I found myself in Tucson “filing clothes” and other items in preparation for more travels:
These I’ll need for the 30-degree weather in Indiana so I need to take them with me; these I might need if I stay in Arizona until April when it’s warmer, so I’ll hang on to them; these I definitely need in January when I come back, so I need them to be easily accessible… these bills need to be paid, these need to be filed away… Food can stay in the car so mice can’t get to it, where’s that bottle of wine I had…?
I had just wrapped up a 10-day whirlwind production schedule for a show that I love, with people I adore, that had also been incredibly grueling – daily set-up of the stage, running 1-2 shows per day, tearing it all down and storing it so we could find it the next morning when we began it all again (a process mirrored between my work and home lives, this constant storing and unpacking, arranging and rearranging).
I had the flu for two days in the middle of all that and kept going anyway.
I was exhausted.
Once the show closed, I had about a day and a half to get ready to leave.
Both my long-term suitcase and long-term backpack had been falling apart for months, with no time to replace them. So finally, in delirium, standing in a department store at about 10:30pm the night before I was to fly out, I chose potentially the wrong suitcase and backpack – because at some point you have to choose something so you can go home to actually pack – which I did, finishing around 2am.
I got up early the next morning to drop off some things for a friend to store at his house while I’m away for a few weeks, cleaned my room and bathroom for the next guests, cleared out my food from cabinets, gathered my new suitcase and backpack, and got ready to call the Lyft to take me to the airport with minutes to spare.
And… My phone wasn’t in my pocket. Or in my backpack. Or on the ledge by the door next to my suitcase.