Friday, January 29, 2016

Time to Travel! (in 4-6 weeks)

I completed a major achievement this morning before 9:30, so I should get the rest of the day off, right? It kind of feels that way. What did I do? I applied for a passport.

That may not sound major, but I've been procrastinating about that for more than a year. Well, possibly even longer than that because I put off renewing the old passport until I missed the window, and then I waited a few more years because I wasn't even thinking about travel then. About a year and a half ago I started thinking that maybe I should do something about it, but most of the info I found said that you had to call to make an appointment at the post office, and if I have to call to make an appointment, it's probably not going to happen. I hate the telephone and get serious anxiety about making phone calls. If my house were on fire, I might be tempted to walk down the street to the fire station to report it rather than make myself dial 911. Really, it's that bad.

So I put off making the scary phone call. There were excuses like I was going to be out of town or busy, so I shouldn't make an appointment. Finally, earlier this month, I pulled together the courage and called, only to be told I'd have to call back at the end of the month and see if I could get an appointment for the next month. So the county government office started looking better, even though there had been articles in the newspaper about the terrible wait times (the reason I was going to force myself to make an appointment at the post office). There was a picture in the paper of the 2-3 hour line. But I figured that was better than waiting months to get an appointment. I put off that a few times because I felt it would be better to go in the morning, and so I set the alarm to get up early, and most of the time I changed my mind. Then last week I was going to do it, but I found a review of the place that said in spite of them saying they did photos, they didn't, and that meant I needed to get a photo taken.

So this week I got the photo done at the new CVS they just built down the block. There was a false start yesterday when I couldn't drag myself out of bed, and I finally did it this morning, though I left later than I hoped. I packed some bottled water, some snacks, and a book, ready to stand and wait for three hours.

And then I walked in, found no line, wondered if I was in the right place or if something was wrong, and one of the three clerks at open windows called me over. I was in and out in fifteen minutes, home before I'd normally be up and at my desk. The clerk did say this was unusual and that if I'd come in the afternoon, there would have been a long line. He laughed when I said I'd brought snacks and a book.

So now that big item on the to-do list is taken care of. It's been glaring at me from my ongoing task list for months, so it feels like a massive accomplishment to check it off. I don't have a specific trip planned, though there is one I'd like to make to research a couple of books. I just want to have the passport handy so that if something comes up, I can take advantage of the opportunity. I've said I want to start hitting all those bucket list items, since I finally have some money for travel, and I want to do things while I'm still young and healthy. I can do my job anywhere, so why not do my writing in the evening in a hotel room after a day of sightseeing?

Since I'd put together a light to-do list because of the anticipated hours of waiting in line, that means the rest of my day is clear for writing, and then I can have a guilt-free TV night to watch the return of Grimm.

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