Monday, August 08, 2005

Home again

With the intent of allowing myself a day to re-integrate back into the rhythms of home before facing work challenges, I came back from my mini-vacation late Saturday afternoon. In years past, it took me a solid two weeks to decompress enough for a vacation to have any real impact, so I had some misgivings about a vacation that was only three days long in its entirety. Shouldn’t I take that extra day? Force myself to have some fun?

The counterargument is for a little nesting time. Coming back from full speed entertainment mode—well, okay, so that’s not really how I vacation—into a work world that is always full speed is too abrupt for me. I need transition time. I need nesting time. I have set up my home to be a place where I recharge, and I need to take the time to soak up its blessings.

Sunday was a day for cleaning, mowing, laundry, putting chard in the freezer. All these chores require attention, but if I wanted my life to be simpler, many could be avoided. I have consciously chosen to live in a house rather than an apartment, to mow rather than pay common charges, and to garden rather than frequent farmer's markets.

Not everything got done. There always seems to be more cleaning to do, and the beans need picking again. A neighbor has offered me currants for the picking, and that didn’t get done yesterday either. But I worked steadily most of the day, taking time out to cook my favorite pizza (usually broccoli raab and black olive, but chard and black olive works nicely, too) and play with the dogs.

A lost dog has come to visit. Known for now as Fred, he is a sweet half-grown Shepherd mix. My neighbors came by to ask if he was mine, and we are working together to keep him out of the pound for a few days while looking for his lost home. He has impeccable indoor manners, but sometimes tries Toby’s patience—not the strategy to get to stay with us for long. Watching them together underscores that the next dog will likely be a female, because at age nine, Toby deserves not to have to fight to be top dog.

Today’s theme is creating space, safety and reserves for myself and for Toby and Max. For too many years, I operated at the very edge of my capabilities, always pushing for greater accomplishment. I recognize the tendency in myself to go after challenge and intellectual stimulation—life can be so very, very interesting! I am learning, still learning, to find joy in daily tasks and to see limits as something to rest against.

1 comment:

carlakeet said...

It's nice to "fly from the nest" for a few days, isn't it, and then to return and have new impressions and experiences to reflect upon. As well as a refreshed gratitude for home. Glad you had such a delightful trip, and happy birthday!

I totally relate to the thought you express in the last paragraph. I always did appreciate the daily (when I worked in an office I was often homesick) but now I am letting go of the achieve! achieve! achieve! expectation that our generation of bright girls was raised with. Which works for some - but if it doesn't work for you, be who you want to be. I'm going with my inner homebody.