Being Home Again


Today marks one week after our return from Colombia, and I don’t feel used to it yet – to being home again. I don’t feel unsettled, either, but without a workplace or school to set the pace, getting back into “the rhythm” is slow and a little strange. Maybe it just won’t happen. After all, how do you get back into the rhythm when the rhythm is your household and 2/3rds of that was away, being re-set?

Hubster says he feels that life is back to normal, but Kidlet and I are still “adjusting.” People keep asking “Are you feeling back to normal? Are you feeling adjusted?” The answer is no, and I’m okay with this. Isn’t that why I left, in part, to have a shift in perspective, to see things a little differently? I think so.

Snow Angel

Snow Angel

One thing is I’m very relaxed! Part of it is Hubster being home (he took a week off work to spend time with Kidlet after being apart for so long), and part of it is the relative ease and comfort of life after all the work of the past two months. The things I fretted about most – keeping tabs on our belongings, acquiring food, locating safe lodging, transportation, and understanding what people were saying – are no trouble at all in Seattle, where we are fortunate enough to have a home, a car and food security.

How long can this feeling of riding the gravy train last? At some point the relativity of it all must wear out? I don’t know, but I’m savoring it and learning from it.  One thing I took away from our trip to Colombia was the belief that it is possible not to be anxious about what’s going to happen next. I observed people living in such a way that they didn’t talk about things not-yet-done as symptoms of a personal problem or even an economic problem, but simply a fact of life.

There will always be things that need to be washed, put away, dusted, repaired, replaced, discarded, learned. Always. So what do I get out of feeling guilty or angry about that? The guilt and the anger don’t need to be present for me to do the work. I keep going back to what that Seattle monk said, “What is the difference between having a problem and having something to do?”

During a conversation over lunch the other day, I mentioned this to a friend who said he really did need those ugly feelings of inadequacy to be motivated. But shame and inadequacy have never been quality fuel for me. We’re all different! This is what makes the world the way it is.

Early this morning I went to the boathouse and coxed an 8 – last night I was apprehensive and studied my coxing manual to refresh my memory. The water was good, the practice was light, and coach and my teammates were sensitive. It all worked out, and I look forward to resuming my sport. I’d wondered if maybe it wouldn’t feel the same when I returned. But I still wanted to be on the water.

Later in the morning, Kidlet and I watched a ten minute film by Yori Norstein called Hedgehog in the Fog. She loves hedgehogs so I figured she’d like it, but I didn’t expect to be so enchanted. In addition to being a beautiful little film, the story – specifically the ending – touched me. It made me think of all the times we go away and have a lasting experience, and then return to our loved ones who simply haven’t had that experience.  Anyway, if you have ten minutes, I think this animated story would be a good use of your time.

Hedgehog in the Fog – Yuri Norstein (1975) from O.C. on Vimeo.


2 thoughts on “Being Home Again

  1. love what you said about quality fuel. i recently had a conversation with a friend who said they have to whip themselves up about needing money in order to get motivated to work. ugh! i’m the opposite. i need to feel calm and relaxed in order to do my best work. i just wrote to someone in an e-mail this morning that self-motivation is the fuel for doing meaningful work — i guess it’s up to each person to figure out how to flip that switch for themselves.

  2. I just had a lovely 4.5 day break in the routine due to snow. Everything was cancelled and everything was so pleasant. It was not at all pleasant to return to the routine. But I agree with what that Seattle Monk said. When I look at the endless cycle of doing (currently I’m annoyed that the dishes are never, ever finished) I’m better off to just focus on today’s dishes, and not the millions that stretch into my future. When I think about what’s happening right now, I’m usually better off. I need to leave the future in the future.

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