The Back Home Blues

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So, here it is Tuesday, and I got home from our 2 weeks in Florida last Friday and I really wanted to slam out a witty, entertaining blog by now because I didn’t blog while I was on holiday and I actually had a few very kind people write to say they were missing my blogs, but somehow, the witty entertaining, creative part of me is just standing at the back of the room with her middle finger raised so I’ll have to go this one alone, I guess.

The truth of the matter is that I’m suffering a bit from post- voyage depression. I’m sure you’ve all been there. You spend all kinds of time, energy and money preparing for your trip with your anticipation level at 100%, then the trip happens and it’s great and fantastic and you feel so proud of your efforts and then you get home and BAM! There’s nothing there to get excited about, except piles of summer clothes laundry that you don’t even need yet because it’s not warm enough here to wear that stuff anyway and about 1200 pictures and videos to upload and edit. Even all your fantastic souvenirs that you bought look tacky and stupid when you pull them out of the suitcase and that honeymoon-ish marriage feeling you have on vacay has disappeared and marriage has just become hard work again when you’re back in reality land.

To top off this bummed-out feeling I normally get after we travel, I have also had the pleasure of dealing with an ear/sinus infection and a repeat bout of mild bronchitis. Nothing says welcome home like having your ears constantly feel like your plane is just about to hit the runway on a landing. We got home on Friday evening and I went straight to bed with a fever. On Saturday, I had to get up and out the door to attend an important function that lasted all afternoon, so I couldn’t even get to a clinic until Sunday and the meds have not really kicked in yet.

The icing on the cake is that my mother is having serious and fairly complicated surgery today and I can’t even be there to support her or my dad because of my infections (for some reason, hospitals frown on people with hacking coughs leaning over patients in the recovery room). She can’t take the risk of catching what I’ve got for obvious reasons and he doesn’t want to catch it to spread it to her, so I’m sitting in bed feeling pissy at the world right now because I feel useless and powerless and not very witty or entertaining. When I was younger, and got myself into a full-blown pity party like this, my mother used to set me straight by pointing out to me that the things I was feeling sorry for myself about were actually things that I should be THANKFUL for, because no matter how bad I thought MY problem was, somebody in the world had something FAR worse. I HATED when she did that, not only because it made me feel like she didn’t empathize with me, but also because she was right. So, as a tribute to her while she endures her surgery today, I am going to try to do the same for myself:

I am thankful that we were able to take a trip to Disney as a family, even though the “magic” of Disney and holidays has ended. It was awesome to see the repeated looks of joy and excitement in both of our kids’ eyes with each ride or show or character they encountered. Some people will never be fortunate enough to experience that kind of a trip with their kids. From the first time my daughter watched a Disney DVD and saw the animated fireworks over the castle at the beginning of every Disney movie, I’ve promised her that I would take her there one day. I am grateful that I was able to make that one day happen for her.   I’m thankful for a relatively peaceful time of harmony with the huzbo during our trip and I understand that everyday life makes it much harder to truly appreciate ALL of each other’s quirks and personalities.  I’m lucky to have a man who unloaded 3 of our 4 suitcases (and who doesn’t bitch that I don’t travel light) and who is a hard worker and can provide for his family the way he does.

I appreciate the unpacking and laundry. Ya, I know, but I’m trying to maintain positivity here, so stop laughing. We have clothes to wear, and plenty of it, while some people have to wash the same shirt and pants every day because it’s the only clothes they’ve got. We have indoor washing and drying machines that make the job fairly easy, which compared with having to scrub my clothes on the rocks down by a river filled with alligators, seems rather luxurious, even if my stepson does leave gum and other shit in his pockets.

I am grateful that the sickness I currently have will go away eventually (I hope, if the antibiotics and drops ever kick in). Despite having to get out of bed today and return to the clinic because the doctor didn’t give me enough ear drop samples to last 2 days, nevermind the 7 he prescribed them for, I am lucky that these illnesses are temporary and non-life threatening. Even though I’ve had a rough start to 2013 with these minor sicknesses, I can walk, talk, see, hear (albeit a bit tunnel-ish right now) and function in my normal capacity, while many others are limited or incapacitated by permanent or terminal illnesses or medical conditions.

My mother is in good hands. She is being operated on by 2 of our countries top surgeons (according to Google, and who doubts the Google machine?). I am thankful that despite the fact that I can’t be there to assist her or the doctors by pacing the floor in the waiting room, there is excellent medical care in our awesome country that she has full access to. I wish I could be there to keep my dad company and support him (even if he won’t admit that he would have liked me to be there), but I’m glad he is there to support my mom, because not everyone is fortunate enough to have both their parents alive, or their parents still together and supportive of one another. I hope she receives good care and recovers quickly from this.

Ok, so I haven’t had any kind of mind-blowing epiphany here or anything, I still feel uncomfortable and cranky, but I am also feeling a tiny bit more optimistic that the things that are bugging me right now will be crawling away soon. My apologies that I can’t think of any clever way to end this blog – that part of me is still copping an attitude, but I will say this – it’s good to travel, but better to come home. I’m a lucky woman and I know it.

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