Why do we go on vacation? So we can come home.
I got home from the beach yesterday. And make no mistake, I love the beach. I spent last week in the company of my daughter, my son-in-law, and The Three Magical Creatures they grew from scratch and it was amazing! I love them all to the moon and back. I adored every second I was blessed to be with them in that place.
And then, I set myself on the road home with relief and longing I didn’t realize had been growing in me.
I gratefully pulled into my familiar development. I did not stop on the four-hour drive home for gas, or food, or a potty break. It was a straight shot. Doorstep to doorstep. As fast as the speed limit and my conscience would allow.
I walked into my home. My Home. It smelled right and it was full of my things. Familiar and comforting. I collapsed onto the comfort of my soft well-worn leather couch with a sigh and spoke lovingly to my house plants. I know they have missed me.
I checked my bird feeders, and freshened them up, even though my neighbor had done a great job of overseeing things in my absence. The connection back to my birds was key. It was much more for my well-being, not the bird’s.
I did laundry, even washing clean clothes so that everything would smell ‘right’. No hint of a slightly musty beach house closet would cling to this world, my blessed reality.
I turned on my surround sound system to my favorite Pandora station as I cleaned my nearly empty fridge and prepared a grocery list. I would be feeding myself again. My food, my choices. No more eating by the committee that included the likes and dislikes of toddlers. I was re-entering The Land Of Adults. This is one of the best parts of being a grown-up. And solitary living.
I wasn’t quite up to that grocery trip just yet, so I texted a friend and made arrangements to meet later at my favorite pub for dinner. I had been missed by other adults in My Tribe. That knowledge made me smile.
As I got ready to go out, I gratefully acknowledged my love for my garden tub. And my candles. And my special shampoo. And my body wash. Even the very towels — old though that they are — welcomed me back to my space with their softness and comforting fresh scent.
Later, after dinner, when I curled up in my own bed — devoid of small bodies needing comfort and conversation before they nodded off to dreamland — I savored My Life.
All the gifts I have been given I can not even begin to list here. How blessed am I that returning from the beach can feel so wonderful?
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. For my vacation and for my reality.
Addendum: When I wrote this back in 2017, I traveled. A lot. Not for business — always for pleasure. I’ve lost track of the number of cruises I’ve been on and the countries I’ve visited. Traveling was a huge part of My Life. Since COVID, I’ve missed the adventure of it all, but when I found this old piece — it helped remind me that the best part of traveling was nearly always just coming home.