Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: home again

Sad To Be Home, For Once

Usually my “back home” posts are ones I look forward to – full of relief and routine. My last post was written ~12 days ago, and if you’ve been following along, you know ALASKA happened.

And Alaska is something that resonated in me so deeply, I am not sure how to tell you about it yet – though I did keep a travel journal which is half-way done, so I do have some notes on it all…

But that’s not what I want to write about this morning.

Like every August, our trip ended with us coming home to a dog full of fleas. Flea season gets us every time, usually August/September, when the weather heats up and Carter Cash spends a lot of time outside. Luckily, we have our new vinyl floors downstairs and my sister cleaned our apartment while we traveled, so I wasn’t freaking the shit out after noticing fleas all over Carter’s butt right after the taxi cab dropped us off.

In less than 20min of being home, Carter and I went into the tub for a full-on-offensive-attack bath.

Then we biked him to the grocery store to restock our fridge. Henry suggested I make chili for dinner, so as he unpacked the groceries, I chopped veggies and browned turkey meat. We ate on the couch while watching a National Geographic show about Alaska (I know, I’m obsessed).

Later on we unpacked suitcases, vacuumed the dog’s crate, washed dishes and took hot showers. We were asleep by 10pm.

I woke up this morning at 7am, with the blazing SoCal sun beating through the sliding door.

Our dirty vacation clothes were packed already sorted into whites / darks / colors (because we’re crazy like that) so I was able to run a few loads of laundry this morning as I cooked breakfast. I did a hiit workout and ran the dog 2m. I drank water, hung up jackets, put away travel sized toiletries, and folded laundry. I tried to not feel overwhelmed by the piles of stuff left from the frenzied day before we left or panic about having to go back to work tomorrow.

I’m reading Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr and sinking into his descriptions of being a new father in a new city – his detailed descriptions of Rome echoing the fleeting grasp I have on Alaska. “As it always is with leaving home, it is the details that displace us. The windows have no screens. Sires, passing in the street, are a note lower. So is the dial tone on our red plastic telephone…”

Usually the details of home settle me back in – my travel is work or family related – and I crave my own boundaries and comforts. But this time I am sad. Our trip was packed, full of amazing happenings and really great family time, but it went so fast – I can’t believe it’s already over.

H went to play roller-hockey and when he returns, he’ll be transferring and backing-up the almost 1000 photos and videos we shot during the 11 days away. I hope spending some time with those captures helps this feeling of loss, and that writing about it in my travel journal and here for you keeps the deep satisfaction of my experience right where I can hold it.

Look For The Light

For some reason, I was obsessed with the light yesterday morning. I think it has something to do with the brilliance of being home, of slowing down, of being more than doing.

The past 6+ weeks have rolled me, lifted me up and dragged me down. I like to think that, not only did I “survive” but I “thrived”. Compared to the me of even 5 years ago, this is true. These weeks rolled me, but as my therapist said, “Justine – you seem good. You’re just rolling with the punches”.

Yes – I am good. And I have rolled with the punches. I found a ~flow~

And now that I’m out of that ring, the boxing match that was the solar eclipse and the grand cardinal cross are finally over, I am here, in my little apartment – looking for the light. And basking in it.

 

 

Re-entry

I could go into all of the craziness that has been 6+ weeks of my life, but right now I’m throwing down the marker that I am back, here, home, loving my life. It’s such a relief, really, to be back in it after leaving it for some many days.

With that said, re-entry is hard. Finally slowing down involves a lot of metal-on-metal from the brakes, waiting for my energy to steady, feeling my mind smooth over like ripples on water.

I’ve napped almost every day this week, guzzling glasses of water, falling asleep as early as 8:30pm and not waking up until 7am. Some mornings, the catch-up for work feels impossible, like I’ll be forever back-logged, and then other days I power through 40 emails. I have energy for meetings but find afterwards my voice is hoarse and I need to lay down.

My life is so full, and I am so grateful for all of the experiences of the past 6 weeks – but it’s time now for me to slip back into the soft comfort of my life, of my living – to find my own routine again and just be.

Returning Home From The Retreat

Your car, barreling down the 5 at 70mph. The last hour, torture.
The dog a whirling dervish of wiggles, following at your heels as you go back and forth
One, two, three times
to lug all of your shit in. Bags of clothes, food, camera and paintings.
Paintings.
Putting your hands in the wet acrylic pain. Was that just yesterday, a mere 36 hours ago?

It feels as if a lifetime happened at the retreat, and since.

Not a single thing is cleaned up or taken care of. Unscrewing the broken toilet paper holder from the wall, changing the garbage bag in the bathroom, stripping the bed and putting on a duvet cover – knowing that, even if the apartment is filthy, clean sheets will make you happy.

You already feel rusty.
Feeling the weight – the shoulds and responsibilities – come raging back. Not one load of laundry folded. Not one sink cleaned. Feeling like you have to do it all.

Then, you remember your practices, shooting photos on a walk with the dog – the golden hour, captured. Your heart beat calms.

Returning home from the retreat, you talk to Mom, eat leftover chili, watch football on in the background, text your sister, eat 5 Oreos, wait for a locksmith.
Get a new door knob.

Returning home from the retreat you see the sticky, dusty residue on the counter tops. Feel crap from the carpet stick to your toes. No one’s watered the plants so you pour water from the dog bowl over them.

Returning home from the retreat you can already feel the magic slipping away – bright and calm self squashed under the realities of “home”.

Is this how addicts feel – free from their programs, but not their minds? Is this when the “real work” starts? And what about soldiers? How do they leave the monotony, the camaraderie, the danger and go back to driving automatics and waking to an alarm?

All of us women scattered. The retreat a dream we once had – the magic and the calm dissipating – like ripples on a still pond.

Plop. One pebble after another.
A handful of rice tossed into the air on a wedding day.
A fist of balloons, released.
(It is everything and it is nothing an echo says)

Driving back into LA, you pine for the pines. The leaves falling. The sun at a different angle, less harsh. Cleans pants and a/c that works.

And you know you can build your own little world right (write) inside here. A nest or a hovel or a den. The way animals settle in and dream.

Returning home from the retreat.

day 7: skyline

Up at 5am EDT for a shower and another stop at Wawa before we headed to the airport. Crazily enough, 13 hours later, I am back in Los Angeles, sitting at my kitchen table, writing this.

We came home to our apartment cleaned and flowers on the table thanks to my AWESOME sister. The pup is very tired, and may be sick. We walked him, ate burritos, and food shopped. Laundry is in the dryer. We still have to unpack. H is napping before grad school tonight and I’m trying my best to get organized and run with the energy this little break gave me, while trying to avoid a nap myself.

Just made a list of everyone’s birthdays. I want to get better at sending snail mail…

Vacation (and the Sun in Virgo) makes me want to get better about everything family and household related, down to the tiniest details.

Guess we’ll see how long that lasts.

Busy Travel Year

2012 was a busy travel year.

Boston. Long Island. Nashville. Maui & Kauai for our honeymoon. Sequoia. San Diego. Las Vegas. San Fran. Newport Beach.

And I returned home again and again and again.

I can see the ebb and flow of the year, my energy and moods. For 2013 I hope to find a rhythm and lean on my own rituals and routine.

Where did you venture into the world this year? xo