Any time you leave any place for any length of time, your “to-do” list feels a little wonky. At least in my case, it eventually whittles down to, “what’s the bare minimum I have to do before I leave because I can’t do this where I’m going.” Usually that includes packing.
Nevertheless, despite my best intentions and planning, I still found myself stressing my way closer and closer to June 1st, when I would catch an overnight bus out of Manhattan and set myself on a course of working at four summer camps in four states.
As I got closer and closer to that day, I was speed walking to the post office and chatting with my mom about how there was just so much to do and I didn’t see at all how it was feasible. I was overwhelmed to say the least.
Of course, some of it was fun. In addition to getting my room ready for my subletter and packing, I also had last minute coffee dates with friends I wouldn’t see for three months. Those had to be priorities too.
I remember looking at my planner and thinking something along the lines of: “okay, just four more work calls, three more social obligations, and two quick errands until I’m outta here.”
And then I paused as some imaginary voice in my head nudged me and warned: “don’t rush the good stuff.”
I like to think I am fully present with people – despite any laundry list of chores waiting for me at home. In general, I think I’m pretty good about that. But it was the subconscious wording in my head. The fact that I had wrapped hanging out with my dearest friends under some umbrella of “social obligation” felt weird.
There’s always going to be a lot to do – especially when a big move is involved. But don’t let that rush you through the good stuff. Drag that coffee date on until the baristas are starting to eye you toward the door. After lunch, agree to go on a walk just to catch up a little more. Keep your phone on silent. Keep your mind where it is. Savor goodbye hugs. Trust the process. In those moments, you don’t have a “to-do list.” All you have is another person who is worthy of your full and undivided attention.
In that moment – you are with them. And that’s all that matters. Don’t rush the good stuff. I promise you’ll find time for everything else. But don’t rush the good stuff. At the end of the day, if that’s all you’ve accomplished, I promise it was time well spent.