Whenever we leave town for a while, it is a stressful event. I’m always on top of my tasks, to be clear. I have everything packed and ready to go the night before we depart. The morning of our trip, I get the animals packed and loaded in the car, and then start to help my boyfriend get his packing under control. This is the problem area. He is constantly waking up late, having no idea what he’s bringing, or even doing laundry on the mornings of our trips. As you can imagine, he really complicates things and tends to put me into anxiety overdrive. That’s why it’s no real surprise to me that we tend to forget to turn off the thermostat before we leave. I can tell you, the indoor air temperature is the last thing on my mind at that point in time. The only days that I even realize the indoor heating and cooling system is running are the ones when I’m dripping with sweat after my 6th trip out to the van. Of course we often fail to turn off the furnace and AC unit for a week or two at a time, considering we’re always running 2 hours late. It’s no surprise to me at all that our electric bills are through the roof even when we’re on the road, since we literally run out the door every time. I know what to expect, and I don’t kid myself. That’s why I don’t get mad anymore, and instead I started looking for solutions. This year for his big 3-0 birthday, I’m buying my boyfriend an alarm clock and a smart thermostat.