Random Thoughts While Packing

Sorting stuff out. Putting it on the bed. Deciding what to take and what to leave home. Arguing shall we go with one suit case or two. Arguing why I’m packing this or the other tech gadget, which I will most probably not need. Then rushing through my luggage to take out stuff, which I took just to have a backup.

“I’ll pack this perfume.” “No, it’s in PVC bottle, and it’ll leak. Not only we’ll waste it, but all luggage will rick of it for years”. “But the others will break.” “No, they won’t, they’re after all packed in between our clothes.”

It’s fun and a bit nervous exercise. In the middle of it, I decided to step out and do some writing, just because I need to calm down a bit, and I already got tired of so much randomness. Which does not help, as I’m still not ready with my suitcase, while Vesi did hers? The fact that we still have more than two hours till the taxi does not matter.
Nevertheless, I just sat and started a concentration playlist on Spotify.

We’re going to a cruise trip. In our cities list, we have Copenhagen, Hellesylt/Geiranger, Flaam, Stavanger, all these in Norway. We will embark and disembark in Kiel, Germany. Meanwhile, we’ll pass by our relatives in Berlin and spend two nights with them: one at the beginning of the trip and one at the end.

It’ll be fun. I hope so much it’ll be fun. I need a bit of relief from the past months of over-stress.

The weather forecast does not look great. It seems we’re sailing one day before the sun: when we’re in a given city it is going to rain, and on the next day it’ll be sunny. But we’ll be then at the other place, where it’ll rain again, and on the next day, it’ll be sunny. And so forth.

Surprisingly enough, this does not bother me much. For everywhere except Copenhagen and Stavanger we have our excursions, so we’re settled one way or another. If it rains too much in Copenhagen, we always know where to go. We’ve never been in Stavanger, but I hope Vesi will think of something until the time comes.

When we’re (successfully) back, I’ll get a week at work. I have a lot of stuff to do this week. And after this week we’ll go to our next trip. It’ll be in Greece, in our favorite Thalata Camp, where we should have a beautiful, large caravan waiting for us on the beach. I’m planning to do half-work there; I just hope I’ll be OK with the internet connection. Otherwise, I’ll have to issue full vacation days instead of half, but the biggest problem will be I will have to think what to do, while offline. You know me: being offline is always a challenge :).

I’ve got few books waiting for me. “Ready Player One” was recommended to me. I have few others on my reading list, but I’m betting on this paper book only for the whole trip. If a miracle happens and I somehow succeed to finish this one despite the excursions, walks and other fun distractions, I will revert to the book(s) I’m reading on my Kindle. But I doubt this will be the case. Lately, I’m plodding with paper books. I either forget to take them with me, or I’m not in a mood, or just the phone is too close to grab and do… Facebooking.

In that sense, yesterday I read the Medium story “I stopped checking Facebook for a year, without deleting the app.,” by Renée Fishman. Here’s what I learned. The author maps our Facebook usage to the need for escape. When we want to escape from discomfort, uncertainty, expectations, emotions, etc. It is so easy just to grab the phone and seek Facebook for our confirmation biases. Facebook likes us. But it likes us not for what we truly are, but because we found people, who think like us, who feel like us, who support us in our decisions.

Facebook escape is a straightforward “solution,” which gives us the (false) feeling things get better. Just like something I recently read there:

– All my Facebook friends think I’m thin.
– What about the others?
– I just block them.

Renée Fishman claims such escape is wrong, as it makes us dependable. She fought hard against it, and it seems she succeeded to get rid of it. Or so it looks. It helped her to be the true self she think she is, without the need for confirmation bias (e.g., the “Likes”).

I cannot entirely agree with her. My confirmation bias need is powerful and requires constant refueling :). Plus, I also use Facebook for help. Both as giving support and as receiving help. I reacted many times on support requests, and I found a lot of help from my friends, too. For me, Facebook is not just a habit, not just an addiction. It’s a tool, and if used right, it can be a precious tool.

It’s easy, of course, to blame it all on a tool. “It’s Facebook’s fault, not mine.” I will dump this thing, and life will suddenly become easier. It’s not like that, folks. It does not work that way. Just dumping something does not make you immediately better. It seems to me Renée also got to this conclusion or at least I found it hidden within her text.

So, before you decide to go and dump (whatever, and especially Facebook), read and understand it well. Then read and understand yourself. Because if you do not, you will come back to the Facebook habit.