My "Lifestyle" Bag & High Maintenance Trip Preparations

Today is the big day of the [my] summer! 

Today I leave home for ten days to attend a Classics Workshop Conference in Washington, DC.  I am so excited to have been given this opportunity.  I will be reading, attending seminars, learning new technology applications, and meeting others in the field of Classics.  Although I've gone away for similar opportunities in the past (including six weeks for NYC's "Summer in the City" Summer School Teaching Internship and six week at the University of Virginia's Summer Language Institute for Latin), this time around, it's a little different. 

First, this opportunity has a significantly shorter duration.  Only 10 days sounds like a mere vacation compared to moving in for most of the summer.  With that said, it is still a disruption (though exciting and welcomed) to my life.

Second, I am old(er) now.  At almost 30, I have become accustomed to my routine, my town, and the comforts of my home, unlike the (more) flexible Julie of old.  I am married now and have considerations beyond my own with which to concern myself.  My family, though they will most certainly survive without me, does rely on me for a number of household responsibilities. 

As such, I've attempted it to work on the front end, prior to my departure; I've tried to ease the burden of my absence by doing what I normally do, so Danny won't have to take on both his usual responsibilities as well as mine.  I made sure to order anything that might run out during my absence from Amazon and checked all of the bills.  Getting a little more in the way of convenience foods than usual, we also completed a big grocery shop run this weekend. 


Obviously, $225 on food for one for a two week timespan is a little crazy in and of itself, but beyond that, we have felt so good from making fruit and veggie smoothies, the superfood add-ins, and fresh juicing, I don't feel like I want to go 10 days without these things.  In completing the big grocery shop and beginning to pack the things on which we've come to rely, I've determined that we are decidedly high maintenance, at least when it comes to food and lifestyle.  (But I've also decided that we're worth it.)

Danny was joking about how I'm the weirdo with a "lifestyle" bag for my trip, but here's some of the stuff I decided I had to bring:

As we saw on our honeymoon, bringing premade juice did not really work well.  This juicer, one we found at Goodwill, is perfect for one person.  It's simple to use, easy clean, and a good size.  Since we've started juicing, when friends or family have shown an interest in starting, we've lent it out to people to try.  In my housing there, I will have a full kitchen, so these items will not be entirely out of place. 

We got a new blender for my trip, which I recognize is a little weird, but I'm happy to keep the smoothies in my life as well as Danny's while I'm gone. 

The foam roller is a good addition to a workout routine; it aids in stretching and acts almost as a tissue massage.  (I plan to write about foam rolling soon.) 

The vitamins, minerals, and fish oil supplements are daily essentials.  I've taken vitamins for years and can really tell the difference if I ever miss them.  Especially since going vegetarian, if I skip them (particularly B12), I actually feel it. 

The superfood add-in packets are an easy way to keep smoothies consistent with all of the health benefits of the superfoods.  Check out this post to see what we include in our daily smoothies.

We also took time packing outfits--meaning Danny patiently assisted with a several hour fashion show/ try on session of most of my professional summer clothing.  With his help (and compliments), I found clothes to help me feel comfortable and put together throughout my stay.

As you can see, I am eager to get the workshop underway.  I am also excited because we've been able to see the challenge this presents and meet it.  Knowing we'd each be a little stressed (Danny works in the #2 most stressful job in the nation and I am a spaz when it comes to change), we treated ourselves to massages yesterday.  (They were amazing!  If you're in the Richmond area, I would highly recommend Not Your Typical Kneads.  Massages are an excellent way to relieve stress and tension, but, unlike some people believe, they are not just for rich people--all people could benefit from regular massages.)  These are our first since the honeymoon, but they helped us to feel more at peace and ready for the coming two weeks.

I wanted to share this today, because I thought it is a good reminder to do what you need to help yourself succeed.  Eating right, exercise, and maintaining a good attitude are hard enough in regular life, but trips, vacations, emergencies, moves, and visits can complicate matters even further.  Planning ahead and preparing, however, can help to ease some of the struggle.  I'm not saying it's going to be easy, necessarily, but it is doable.  And, if you become the weirdo with a lifestyle bag, at least you'll be the weirdo with a lifestyle bag feeling great with a good attitude!

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