Don’t panic! It’s just a holiday

On the topic of holidays, as has been the theme of my last two posts, when I think back to childhood breaks en famille I can’t help but be reminded of Mum’s phobia about packing. I’ve always wound her up about it but it must be so distressing to feel that level of anxiety in the run up to a holiday. Instead of feeling that delicious sense of anticipation about their time away, people like my mum with packing phobias actually experience dread, because the planning that’s required induces panic that can lead to both physical and mental paralysis.

Mum’s a list-maker like me, and you’d think that would help to keep things ordered and under control, but in reality (as I myself have experienced on the odd occasion, like when I’m overloaded at work and find myself surrounded by so many lists my brain ends up in a state of panic-induced inertia) that doesn’t always help. Lists can go so far to quell the panic of forgetting something, but what if you forget to put something on the list in the first place?

I don’t claim to understand this phobia, but I do sympathise with those who have it. I’m also very grateful I don’t have this particular affliction, because I’ve enough neuroses to cope with as it is…

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