My parents flew back from their holiday this afternoon, so I drove Mum’s car up to the airport at Coolangatta to ferry them back to their place.
It’s not that I’m a nervous driver, but more that I’m a nervous everything: the one-hour drive up the freeway on my own makes me worried and fearful – every time, even though nothing has ever gone wrong and I have no reason to suppose it ever will. It’s just anxiety, I suppose.
One thing I do beforehand that seems to help is to think about the things that might go wrong and prepare for them, in case. Obviously there’s a danger this might just aggravate my fear instead of easing it, but it does feel like it helps, so I keep doing it. And sometimes I get a good laugh out of being so ridiculous, which helps more than anything else.
Here, for the amusement of both of us, reader, is the list of things I took along on the drive this afternoon, just in case…
– water, in case of thirst or in case I started to get a headache and needed to take tablets
– headache tablets, in case of headache
– aspirin, in case of stroke
– bandaids, in case of cuts or (because I have new shoes) blisters
– an extra pair of socks, in case the car broke down and I had to walk a long way in the new shoes, in case the bandaids weren’t enough to ward off blisters
– extra hairbands, in case the one I’m using broke
– a torch, because I’d need it to see the way into the house when I got home tonight, or the car broke down and I had to walk along the side of the road in the dark
– a battery, in case the torch went flat
– my mobile phone
– my mobile phone recharger, in case I got stuck somewhere along the way or my parents’ plane was delayed and there were lots of calls to and fro to organise things or for any other reason I had to use the phone a lot and it ran out of power
– a book, in case I had to wait a long time at the airport or in a broken-down car
– a hat, in case I had to walk in the sun
– a coat, in case it got cold
– extra money, in case of need
– handcream, in case the air was dry
– extra tissues, in case I used up the two in my pockets
– my address book, in case I lost my phone and had to call people (I can’t remember numbers)
– an extra lip-gloss, in case I lost the one in my pocket
– earplugs, leftover from working at the factory, but you never know when they’ll be handy
– three biros and one felt-tip pen, because I hadn’t realised there were so many in my bag
– paper to write on
– Tic-Tacs, in case of bad breath
– a mirror, in case I got kidnapped and held in a confined space with only a small window facing the sun (I could use the mirror to signal for help)
– and finally: elastic bands, because you never know; they’re useful for lots of things.
I made it up the highway and home again, safely. As always. And it’s always a relief afterwards.