Remember me? I live here
It has been a hectic few months. Travel enough and you have this constant, vague sense of displacement; wake up, and you wonder for a moment, where am I today? You are frequently a timezone ahead, or a flight behind, or some combination of the two, and every hotel room has an alarm clock that works in a slightly different way.
I am trying to get back into the rhythm of life-at-home. I am trying to learn to pace myself on weekdays, to leave time for therapy and other things, and to cook mightily on weekends. A couple of crockpots full of food on a weekend makes a much saner week.
I am -- solitary, these days. I am aware that I really need to get out, maybe work from a coffeeshop for a half day or so, maybe see a movie on a weekend, but the truth is that I've had so few home hours in the past month or so that I'm just not ready to emerge yet. I know I should suggest to Jeff that he get out of the house, even if I'm not ready to just yet.
It's funny, I read quilt blogs and I have such an envy of many of those people. They seem to have such time. My catchphrase for my co-workers sums it up nicely: "Who buys the cat food?" Meaning, if you're spending all these hours on work or other duties, where does the time come for these other things?
I did take a weekend of serious selfishness after my week in Boston. I took the Acela Express from Boston to New York, where Colter met me at Penn Station. I then went headfirst into the New York theater scene for a weekend, seeing Wicked, War Horse, Book of Mormon, and Godspell within a 48-hour period. I don't know if art and culture feeds all souls, but it feeds mine.
I remember sitting down to my sewing machine a week ago and feeling like I needed to introduce myself to it. Remember me? I live here ... sometimes.
I am aware that the Traveling Laptop Show is not done yet. I have a bit of a break until March, when I'll head west for a conference, and then I will need to make some decisions. I have the possibility of a once-in-a-lifetime trip in the August / September time frame, but I am hesitant to commit to it and need more time to think.
I think that with some time at home, I will feel more grounded, more capable of considering such a mammoth undertaking. Today, tomorrow, the day after -- these days are all too soon for such thoughts. I have not one, but two partially-unpacked suitcases in the guest room right now (one from Florida, and one from Boston / New York) that need tending and unpacking. It seems folly to contemplate more travel when I am not yet fully unpacked from my last two trips.
For now, though, I'm home. I'm working, a seam at a time, on getting Mitzvah ready to go off to the quilter's. I'm working on learning this new job. I'm trying to teach the cats that they need to let me work in peace during the day.
I am aware that what is happening to me is deeper than a traveling schedule. It is, on some levels, a fundamental shift of self. Jeff's accident shattered both of our lives, and fourteen months later, I'm only just now beginning to reassess the broken pieces. I don't really know what I can make of it yet, because I barely even know what I have to work with at this time.
Add in a change of employment, and that changes your life's focus as well as your social structure. Let's be honest, we spend as much time with our co-workers, day-to-day, as we do with our spouses and families. Combine personal and professional upheaval and the end result is almost unrecognizable.
It bears little resemblance to the panicked, spousal-warrior life I was leading in various ICUs in January and February 2011, and almost no resemblance to the life I had, pre-accident.
The sense of displacement probably goes further than jet lag, but it's a convenient excuse.
In time, it will all become routine, right?