Friday, June 10, 2011
The anticipation of this weekend kept me up until one o’clock this morning. That, and the busyness of preparing the perfect drive: Packing. Overpacking. Repacking. Making a playlist. Reviewing directions. Home mani-pedi.
I love planning things. I’m an over-planner. I blame it on being a writer. I’m all about the little details. If I could ever have another successful career, it would be a Party Planner. I love putting the pieces together. Finding this, coordinating that. I’m a control freak when it comes to events.
Which is why, 20 minutes into my arrival, my brother took me aside and told me to just breathe. “It’s okay,” he said. “A lack of planning doesn’t mean chaos.” I chose to take him at his word. After all, this is his town. He knows better than me what works and what doesn’t.
And so far it’s been good to just go with the flow. I’ve literally been sitting in the backseat today, and I’ve been comfortable with it. It’s a breath of fresh air to let someone else navigate and just be along for the ride.
So far today we ate lunch at a $5 casino buffet. I had some wonderful manicotti followed by a decent baklava, among other delicious tastes. Tomorrow I might be more daring and actually try sushi.
After lunch we drove out to the Hoover Dam. We walked the new Memorial Bridge, 800 feet above water level. It didn’t seem terribly high, but the winds blew strong enough to shake things a little and destabilize my balance. I had to trust that the engineers and planners knew more than me; and hundreds, if not thousands of pedestrians, have remained safe and rely on that same trust. It was an interesting self-experiment as I walked the bridge and saw the Dam from a perspective I’d not known before today. It was majestic, massive, and humbling. Had I let my fears keep me from the short walk, I would have missed this amazing structural adventure.
I’m sensing today’s theme is what Jenn and other friends are encouraging me to do: Let go of my control issues. Trust others. Relax. Go with the flow. For the last eight hours I’ve done just that. And it feels good. Really good.
One of the caveats of this weekend is that each of us has a few ideas of what we would like to do, but there’s nothing on schedule. So right now, instead of going tourist-crazy and overloading on neon signs and clinking machines; instead of pounding the pavement in a mad crush of people, we’re sitting in my brother’s living room, enjoying his huge flatscreen and surround sound. Watching “2012”. I like this movie. I love John Cusack.
Later, instead of driving the Strip, we’re having grilled steak and corn on the cob. Not quite the Vegas experience I usually envision. But that’s okay. Because for today, I’m letting go of my plans, my ideas of what it should be, and accepting it for what it is: great family time. Which was our intent from the beginning.