On the road with Judy Carter -- fear of packing

I don't have a fear of flying - I have a fear of packing. I start packing one week before I'm going anywhere. Im going for a safari to east Africa. I worry constantly because God forbid I forgot my adapter for my blueooth keyboard. I fret then as I'm sure it's next to impossible to find a Best Buy while on safari in the Serengeti. But last night, the day before we''re leaving, I flew into Blue code panic as I couldn't find my passport, plane ticket, and health docs.

I do what I always do when this happens, I hyperventilate, start screaming, and go to the verge of cardiac arrest. This, of course makes looking for my docs impossible.

This condition happened last year as i boarded a plane to Australia. As the plane doors closed I couldn't find my passport and I was certain that I threw it away in the trash can at the gate. They opened the plane door so I could look and while I was crying and cursing,while looking through a garage can of half eaten Subway sandwiches, I did find it -- in my back pocket.

My friend Mimi who is a motivational speaker and one of the most positive people I know describes my problem this way: "Judy has a casual relationship to objects." Which is a nicer than the way my partner describes it: "You're an irresponsible, messy, disorganized hysterical person with ADD." Yeah, I like Mimi's description better.

This "casual relationship with objects" and the panic that insures had roots deep in my childhood from being an eight year old magician. Magic depends on every little object being in place. One little missing gismo is then difference between "Ta-da!" and "You suck!" I wasn't a good magician as I would forget prime objects -- such as leaving my goldfish in a plastic bag on the dining room table. This would dampen my finale of a glass of sugar to, well, a glass of water! Not so dramatic. But actually, this is the moment I became a comedian. As pretending tthat your mistake were meant to happen and getting laughs far outweighed the humiliation of being a failed magician.

So, we found my travel docs, which were with my will. Panic gone. Will? Yes, as since we hadn't rewritten our wills since we got married,and since my mother died the same age I turn next week, and we are going to Rwanda which has the distention of being known for genocide and wild gorillas we thought it would be a good time to do wills.

For the past two weeks, all conversations have started with, "So, when you die..." or "When we both die..." or "When I die..." Very depressing. And to make matter worse we had a clash of "Wills." Literally. "If we both die," said my loved one, "I want to leave our house to the cats with the life insurance going to their care."

Now, don't get me wrong. I love our cats, but we're talking legacy here. So, off to the imago therapist we go to work it out. Evie, our couple's therapist, as opposed to our individual therapist, (yes, to make us work, it does take a village of shrinks.) We went in fighting and exited best friends again. We worked out a way to take care of the cats, dogs, AND friends and charities.

So, I'm on the plane, the first hour of a 24 hour travel day to arrive in Africa. Fear is gone as the pacing is over. Here we come! Wait.. did I bring hand sanitizer? Oh No!
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Judy's Blog

Judy Carter blogs on comedy, storytelling and public speaking techniques, using personal stories and her adventures as a stand-up comic turned motivational public speaker. Her weekly blogs are read by fans of her books, “The Comedy Bible” (Simon and Schuster) and “The Message of You” (St. Martin’s Press), which include comics, speakers, and entrepreneurs. She is also known for teaching the value of humor and storytelling to businesses as a leadership and stress reduction tool.