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Emails to my Therapist

When Indecision Starts Getting Crazy

Dear Nicholas, My step-grandbaby is a few days old, living in Krakow, Poland. My search for flights to go visit is sliding into pathological. I’m not exaggerating.  I’m trying to figure out a reasonably-priced reasonably-doable way for her granddaddy and me to go meet her. Arranging a wonderful trip should not put me into the tailspin that it has.

indecisiveness starts getting crazy

I think my surprising upset is due to a couple of factors. One is my ongoing effort to come to terms with loved ones falling ill and dying. That underlies most everything these days, and most anything can bring it to the surface.

Swimming with Sharks

Being the age I am now feels like swimming with sharks, seeing a fin go by, then seeing someone else starting to be dragged under. If I really have the faith I claim to have, then I ought to be more at peace with people suddenly or gradually disappearing.  I’m not there yet.

Possibly the arrival of this baby underlines the stage of life I’m in. Not sure about that. If I’d stayed in the marriage of my early twenties, I’d have been a step-great-grandmother long ago.

The Obsession Issue

Factor two is the fact that I lowered my dose of OCD medicine a couple of months ago, because it had started to make me forgetful. My memory is now greatly improved, but I’ve gotten myself into a state of crazy obsession over this travel planning. I know this is a first-world problem, not worth mentioning. I’m  extremely fortunate to be able to make this trip. However, the obsessing is interfering with my work and other activities and my state of mind. I start searching and can’t quit.  This is not typical of my OCD problems, which run toward crazy fear of doing wrong, doing damage.

(Now I’m remembering the other time in my life I got this weird over something this small. I was in eighth grade and trying to decide whether to take French again in ninth grade. Silly! I won’t burden you with the pros and cons, but I got weird enough that my parents were concerned.)

I keep thinking that as soon as I book flights, all will be well, so keep on, keep on. However, I know this isn’t mainly a travel schedule issue. (Although I do think it can be pretty frustrating for most anyone.)

I thought I had it all worked out, only to discover that there wasn’t enough layover time between flights. Curses!

Okay, enough.

On the Other Hand: Flying with Angels

The baby really is magical, even in pictures: wide-eyed and alert, lots of dark hair, so distinctly feminine at only a few days old. I’ve always had a weakness for babies, though I’m terrible at kids, better again once they’re teenagers, not half bad at stepmother of adults. Maybe I can manage all this.

Anyway, as I said before: enough.

Your fraying friend,



indecision starts getting crazy, Krakow, travel planning

Krakow–it’s going to be an amazing wonderful trip, right?



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  • John Cheek
    March 26, 2019 at 7:49 pm Reply

    I sang in Krakow in 2010. It’s a beautiful city with much to see and do.

    • Peggy Payne
      March 26, 2019 at 7:58 pm Reply

      I wish I’d heard you, John. I was there myself in the early 80s, with a Society of American Travel Writers convention. My travel writing experience is part of what makes this weird. I do look forward to actually being there.

  • March 26, 2019 at 8:12 pm Reply

    The complexities of this trip would tax a travel professional who’s current and active in arranging trips to Poland with some side trip[s]. I very much appreciate your traveling through Hell to make the arrangements that I sure couldn’t/wouldn’t. So keep going, keeping your foot down on the gas when going thru Hell, and it’ll work out well enough. I’m good with kids, not so much with babies, so we’ll do all this as a team – I hear Krakow is a beautiful, historic city.
    And Breath slow and deep when you want to or need to.

    • Peggy Payne
      March 26, 2019 at 8:15 pm Reply

      Thank you, my beloved travel companion!

  • Robert J Braxton
    March 26, 2019 at 10:02 pm Reply

    a hug

    • Peggy Payne
      March 27, 2019 at 1:04 am Reply

      Thanks, Bob B!

  • Miller Sigmon
    March 26, 2019 at 10:24 pm Reply

    Of course , it will be a wonderful trip !! It will be a “once in a life time ” trip…(unless there are more grandchildren) least for this beautiful baby…….!! You are making it much more “painful” than it needs to be..As has been said, this would be a challenge for a travel agent..~!! So, #1….You go back on the correct dosage of your meds…..#2…Make the decisions.(. there are no wrong decisions unless you end up in Mpscow..!!) #3…Don’t worry about the best deal (How much can the best fares vary ???) #4….Dwell on this terrific new life you’ll meet,,,..not death…. You guys are going to be great………..!!( Send your fans some pictures..!!) ENJOY !!!

    • Peggy Payne
      March 27, 2019 at 1:05 am Reply

      You’re a wise man, Miller Sigmon! Thank you.

  • Kenju
    March 27, 2019 at 4:50 am Reply

    Good luck in both the planning and the execution of this trip! I can’t wait to read all about it!

    • Peggy Payne
      March 27, 2019 at 2:52 pm Reply

      Thanks, Kenju. I got it nailed down now, which is a funny way think about flights!

  • March 27, 2019 at 4:18 pm Reply

    I understand your feelings, Peggy. I often have similar obsessions myself. I’ve spent months trying to find the right chandelier for my dining room. And then I feel silly worrying about something so insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I’m glad you got your trip figured out. My advice was going to be to take your time. The baby will be there when you get there.

    • Peggy Payne
      March 27, 2019 at 6:31 pm Reply

      Well, light fixtures feel so permanent, don’t they? Unlike chairs that you can easily move in and out. I do get it, Sally. On the whole, I like to have wide choices. But I used to find that video rental stores could occasionally be a challenge. Seems like a joke, but it isn’t when you’re in the midst of it. I read that Trader’s Joe’s is more successful than Whole Foods because it offers fewer choices. Hard to believe. Price might also have a little something to do with it.

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