Meaning what have you forgotten, on the way to the airport, or on the plane, or worse still once you’ve arrived at your destination?
Easter’s coming and yes, we’ve all had that uneasy, almost OCD feeling that we’ve left something important behind, or not done something we should have, before driving to the airport, and it’s whether we share that unease with our family, as the car ploughs the miles to the car park, or keep it to ourselves, that will ultimately be our undoing, or give us peace of mind!
Thinking back to holidays and trips gone by, forgetting the charger for my phone seems to recur with alarmingly regularity. And trying to remember whether I locked the back door is such a common occurrence, as it’s often automatic, meaning I don’t actually recall going through the motion of finding the key, inserting it into the lock, turning it, checking the handle, withdrawing the key and putting it somewhere safe; surely I’d remember doing that?
This drew me to conclude there must be a list of the most common things to forget, so I could print it out and use it as an aide memoir. Well yes, there are several, but none of them were things that would cause any great stress, aside from forgetting a passport, tickets, wallet, or a small child! To forget any of those is just unforgiveable and will prevent departure from these shores without any doubt. What I really wanted was a list of all the little niggly things that I might have completely neglected, that really get under my skin and wake me up, or chew away in the back of my mind for the duration of my trip away, but then I left the house and started worrying…
- Did I lock the door? Which door? All of them? The gate too? Whilst I’m at it, did I check the windows, the lights in the shed, disconnect the aerial on the TV in case of lightning strikes? Oh my, I’m starting to go off the rails just thinking about how deep this could go… This is what got me started on the list in the first place!
- Did I cancel the milk? Is the milkman likely to work out that the last delivery hasn’t been taken inside and not leave any more, or will there be six bottles lined up for our return? Hang on, I can call the dairy company and ask them to stop the delivery. Phew, at least I remembered and can do something about it!
- What about the papers? Hang on, I can call the newsagent and tell them to stop those too. Easy that one, now I’ve thought about it.
- Heating! Nooo, I forgot to switch that off. Is there anything I can do? Key, who has a key? Malcolm next door has one, so I’ll call him… I don’t have his number, as we only ever talk over the fence. I could talk to number 46 to get them to go and see Malcolm, to ask him to go and turn it off. Yes, that’s the thing to do, except will 46 be in? Oh dear, if only I’d remembered that! This will be a thing of the past soon, now that Nest or Hive technology is around, so that’ll be one to knock off the list eventually.
- Bin. Did I empty it? Yes, but I didn’t put it out for the bin men. That means three weeks until then next collection. There’s nothing I can do about that, but remembering this I’ve also forgotten about the little composting bin on the kitchen counter. Last time that happened it was horrific, as those little fruit flies had found the rotting contents and had set up a colony, meaning when we returned after a fortnight, there were loads of them buzzing around the kitchen. The horror didn’t materialise until I lifted the lid, then a cloud of thousands of them swarmed out and filled the kitchen for three days! Memorable enough not to forget again, but this time at least I know it’s winter and those things aren’t around – are they?
- Prescription drugs. Oh yes, that’s a good one. At least twice a week I forget to take my Omeprazole on time, and instead take it in the evening, but leaving that behind would present a big inconvenience. Tips I’ve seen are to pack a copy of the prescription paperwork, but if I do that I’m not likely to forget my pills! Thinking about it, this is the sort of thing I’d stick on a list and check off, so it’s not going to happen. Whilst I’m at it, I may as well check I’ve got enough tablets for my stay.
- My daughter’s cuddly kitten. She’s just told me she left him by the door, but he must have been pushed behind the door when it was open! How the heck to I get round this one? The only way is to turn round and miss the flight – yeah, right, that’s going to happen! Easy, she’ll have to get another thing to cuddle and she’ll just have to learn the hard way not to forget something as important as Bunglie… There, there.
- Do my neighbours actually know I’m away? Did I actually deign to tell them that the house was empty for a fortnight and that maybe they could put the bin out for us? (yes, that’d answer point 5 nicely). No, I didn’t tell them (and I don’t know their numbers), so when that dodgy looking chap, with a clipboard as a ‘prop’ for looking all official and swindling his way past vulnerable people at their front door, is nosing around the side of the house, he will go unchallenged and scope out the joint, decide where the weak entry point is and get in with his mate as lookout, leaving my house emptied of all valuables. Oh why didn’t I just tell both neighbours? It’s worth a bottle of cheap wine to say thank you. Next time, I will make sure I do.
- What have I left in the fridge/freezer? How many times have I gone away and left a bag of crisp salad in the salad crisper, to find a bag of black mush on my return? Too many times to recall, but this time I checked every shelf and ate/removed the things that go off. My folks actually empty their fridge/freezer and spend a week eating weird meals before they go away, safe in the knowledge that nothing is going to go off if the power fails. It could happen! The thought of a defrosted freezer after 2 weeks off doesn’t bear thinking about.
- That thing… that even now I can’t think of; the one that I was meaning to do before going away… That’s it, aaargghh. I forgot to book the car parking at the airport! If I don’t book it in advance, it’s going to cost me way more, so always, always check. In fact, I can get my wife to book it as we’re still about 40 minutes away from Leeds Bradford. If I book with Sentinel, I get live availability, so I can be certain I’ve got a space. Panic over! I won’t forget to do that again, now I have this list!
Enjoy your holiday and remember, worrying just makes things worse, so plan to avoid things you could end up worrying about that you can’t do anything about once you’re on the way!