I won’t be home for Christmas.

There many cliched terms about the best laid plans, and today I have to say I am thinking of all of them. Starting late Monday afternoon, I started worrying in earnest about my trip to England. The roads were covered in ice, the airports were closed, there was panic in the streets. But I kept thinking, eh, it’ll be fine.
However, yesterday I had to face that it wasn’t going to be fine. At least, not without serious plan alterations.
See, I am not someone who really likes back up plans. When I play the game of Life, I don’t buy insurance. When I buy something, I usually lose the receipt and therefore can’t return if it I don’t like it. And when I travel, I assume everything will work out when I get there. Well, then my aunt and uncle started emailing me, informing me that the airports were closed, roads were causing trouble, et cetera. Please reconsider coming.
At first I shrugged it off, then they emailed me again. my mother emailed me saying they had called. I asked friends for advice: Minnesotans balked, Europeans worried right along.
In the end, it came down to 10 pm last night, a forecast of even more snow, and the feeling like if I did go, it would cause huge amounts of worry from others and stress from me. My relatives are not in London, you see, like everyone assumes your relatives must be when you say your dad is from England. They are in a sort of northeastern corner, and it’s hard to get there at the best of times. So I told myself, it’s only about 60 euros in airfare you’re losing. Get over it.

So I didn’t go. And how do I feel now? I don’t know.
I am someone who hates backing out of things, though I have no problem avoiding stuff I don’t want to do. However, I had been looking forward to this basically since I knew I was going to Europe. Even the five day stay I finally coordinated seemed like the best thing ever. At the same time, I know it would have been dangerous, and full of waiting, and half that 5 day trip might have been spent en route to somewhere, probably in a cramped area full of strangers.
I also realized that while I had planned some things out well, I hadn’t given enough time or thought to the way I would get from London to Louth, where my aunt and uncle live, or how I’d get back. Even the basic bus service, which might be most direct, would have taken several hours, and those are the very lines closed up right now; the more national service is twice as long and might also have been having delays. Once again, I did not buy insurance in the game of Life, so now I am losing all of my money because I accidentally rolled the turn that drives you into a volcano.

So what am I doing instead? Today I have been writing and looking for work and trying to finish knitting a vest I want to wear on Christmas Eve. I will then go for a run, since it is above freezing here at least, and then clean, maybe go to the Christmas Market again. On the 25th, I will take a night train out of Vienna to Florence, meaning I can spend extra time there rather than meetiing my friends halfway through the week.

Do I feel lame? Yes. Do I feel relieved? Also yes. As my mom pointed out to me, people will often make you feel bad about saying no to travel plans. It’s considered weak. However, at least now I can cement new plans that are simpler, I was able to get refunded my train ticket connection in Italy, and I can leave my flat actually clean, organized, and ready for the new year. Ideally.

Anyway, I also have to fill out reimbursement forms today to send along with a colleague going home, so she can mail them, much more cheaply, in the US. As well as forms for a new job I got.

What’s that, you say? A new job?
Why, yes. I finally got taken off the waitlist for Tutor.com last week, and am now qualified to tutor online for essay writing and social studies. Provided I send them my paperwork, so…off I go.
More news to come tomorrow, just you wait. (And I mean actually tomorrow this time).

Author: elizabethlorraine

Writer, actress, runner, knitter, and geek.

One thought on “I won’t be home for Christmas.”

  1. What’s that saying? Something about discretion being the better part of valor? Or how about he who runs away gets to fight another day? It’s not ALWAYS a whimp-out to do the sensible thing, and when it comes to weather-related risks, Mother Nature sometimes doesn’t give you a second chance. Glad you made the right decision.

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