The proper steps of vacation preparation, especially when said vacation includes an athletic race of some sort:
1. A few days before you leave, lay in bed and begin to think about what you’ll pack. Think to yourself “You must remember to pack your wetsuit.” Try to fall asleep. Fail because, oh God, what if you forget to pack the wetsuit and you can’t swim? Oh no!
2. Randomly think “remember the wetsuit!” during the next several days. Do this when you are at work, in meetings that require your attention.
3. Go to the library. Check out more books than you can possibly read on a short trip, especially a short trip that involves a toddler.
4. Think about that wetsuit again but add in an extra layer of “must remember the no poop pills” as you know that your stomach gets a bit frantic pre-race and that Pepto is the only thing that stands in the way of a wetsuit disaster.
5. Begin to think about all of the things you need to do on Wednesday night after work in order to be ready to leave at 5am on Thursday morning. Freak out. Email boss and request Wednesday off.
6. Try, with limited success, to get work done at work. Feel distracted by the hum of “vacation vacation vacation” in your head. Realize that obsessively checking the forecast for your destination city on weather.com is probably not helping.
7. Distract yourself from thoughts about vacation by indulging in a brief day dream about your upcoming birthday and the presents you might be getting from your spouse. Some new goggles and a swim cap, perhaps? A book?
8. Frantic house cleaning so that if you die in a car crash on vacation people won’t judge you when they come pack up your house after your dead. Or, less morbidly, clean the house so you can come home to a nice clean house.
9. Careful deliberations on the ideal snack/toy/distractions mixture to keep your three year old happy(ish) on an eight hour drive.
10. Packing and stuff.