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Worrying About Worrying

Barcelona Cathedral

I am currently a long way from the Dixie. I’m sitting in a hotel room in Barcelona, Spain, waiting for my husband to get back from his conference.

This is my first time ever in Europe and I’m thrilled to be here. It’s Day 4 and I’m having a great time. I knew I would but that didn’t stop me from obsessing and worrying the whole way here.

I’ve always been adventurous and open (and wanting) to try new things, especially travel. I’ve traveled with my husband before on his business trips and while he was in meetings or trainings I would either take the rental car or walk and walk and walk like crazy fitting as much as I could in.

The last trip I accompanied him on was to Ottawa, Canada in 2005. I explored like crazy and was estatic to go on the trip.

For some reason, this time was different. I began to worry, obsess and imagine all the things that could go wrong.

First, I spent more time worrying about getting work done, wrapping up some art details, cleaning my house, etc. My mom was coming up to stay with my youngest daughter and I worried about leaving things for her, them eating etc. The reality is work is during a slow time, my house is always mostly clean (mainly because I only have 1 teenager left at home) and my mom and daughter can certainly take care of their own food!

Next I began worrying about the trip. What would I leave behind. I didn’t prepare enough. I should have worked harder at refreshing my Spanish.

I booked two separate flights to get here (instead of connecting flights) and I worried about forgetting to get my luggage. What if I missed my flight? What if I fell asleep on the plane? Would they wake me up when we landed? I had a layover in Madrid, did I need to get my luggage there? What if I had problems in customs? What if I had no idea how to get to my connecting flight?

My husband was flying from Sweden into Barcelona. What if he missed his flight? What if he had issues in customs?

My husband and I would sight see together for a few days then he had a conference for 3 days. What would I do while he was in conference? I read multiple times about pick pockets in Barcelona. Should I go out without him? How would I get around? Can I navigate in a foreign country.

Barcelona is known for demonstrations and strikes. What happens if one happens while we are here?

I’m surprised I didn’t arrive here with an ulcer. I’ve NEVER been this way before and I’m not sure what was so different about this trip. Maybe the international part? Maybe it’s me being a decade older? What the heck?

I’m still not quite sure what my problem was. I’m here, safe and sound. Some of my worries came true but they were not the big deal I made out of them. I left something at home….my sketching supplies. Guess what? They have art stores in Barcelona, I bought a new sketch pad, pencil and pen.

There was a demonstration last night. It detoured the public bus we were riding and made for a noisy walk to our hotel. No biggie. My husband headed to the first day of the conference. I spent most of the day walking (19k steps so far!) and doing a little shopping. Didn’t use a map or a plan, just walked whichever way looked interesting.

I’m going to visit some art museums tomorrow. I already know the bus routes to get there.

How many times do we let our head and unfounded fears stop us from amazing things? I know if I had given into the multitude of worries I created for myself, I’d be missing the trip of a lifetime.

Definitely a lesson I’ll be taking forward from here. As my last baby is leaning over the edge of the nest, I hope to have more opportunities like this in the future. I don’t want to miss any, especially over something like worry!

Park Guell

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