It’s remarkable how even the way we approach our first few hours after vacationing changes when we’re out of the workforce. I remember just a few short years ago, I would start stressing about all the things I had to do before returning to work. My mind would have been fully “locked and loaded” on unpacking and restoring order around the house. As for work, before the dust even settled my laptop would be out, and I would be surveying e-mails and thinking about quarter end close and reporting deadlines. Then that knot in my stomach would slowly start tightening as my brain slowly adjusted from vacation mode to reality.
These days there is none of that. This time around I calmly walk in and I’m able to embrace the joy of being home again. Whatever it is that “urgently” needs my attention will have wait for later. I survey the house looking for “damage” after being left under the care of my boys who have never fully grasped the concept of independently picking up a broom. I’m pleasantly surprised to see that the house looks good. In fact, it appears somebody made an effort to clean up. From the sticky stains still left on the countertop and the spill marks on the floor, I can easily tell that it’s all surface cleaning. However, there are no dirty dishes in the sink, so I appreciate the effort.
I see that my plants have survived after all, in fact they are thriving. Looks like my sons were better caretakers than my husband ever was. Two weeks into my vacation, before my husband joined me in Jamaica, I had called him face time to check up on my plants and my poor babies were starved of water and drooping, a condition he cheekily explained as due to them missing me. Now they are green and upright again, and hopefully glad mommy’s home.
I pass the chair where my dad spent most of his days while he was here, now it’s empty. I’m sad for a moment but then I realize he’s back home in his backyard walking around and tending to his plants and for that I’m grateful. I’ll miss my mom and our trips to the mall for no reasons except just for a change of scenery. I quietly climb the stairs, only my eldest is home but he’s asleep. Our flight was delayed so it’s almost 4:00am in the morning and he’s snoring quietly. I peer into my middle son’s room, the room my parents stayed in for the almost ten months they were here. Prescription bottles, blankets, and on-line bought packages have now been replaced by baseball caps, sneakers, sweatshirts and a laptop. Looks like my “middle-man” had totally re-claimed his space. My youngest is away so his room still sits unused, although to the trained and now more observant eye, there are subtle signs of recent occupancy.
Which brings me to some of the things I noticed that give me pause. While checking my sons’ bathroom, for only two guys, I noticed that there were way too many bath sponges hanging in the shower and too many toothbrushes sitting in the holder. The bathtub too was also very clean which in itself was very strange. Couple that with a “clean” kitchen and no dishes in the sink spells sleep over. Yes, there were signs of a sleep over and somebody had cleaned up but had still left a few telltale signs behind. I don’t know if I’m right and I don’t care enough to ask. They’re grown young men, and besides that would have been the old “need to know” me. The one who would have probably never even noticed in the past, being too busy focused on quickly cleaning up and getting back to work. The new me is “chill” and calm and unbothered and has time to “take in” and appreciate returning home before it is time to clean up…later.
Still, once the dust is settled and I’m fully readjusted and my head is completely out of the clouds there are a few things I want to do. There are books I still want to read, one I’ve already started but I’m yet to finish, one I purchased but still haven’t started and one recently recommended but I still haven’t bought. I will sit in my dad’s chair and eat the Julie mangoes I smuggled in, and I will miss my parents and Jamaica all while knowing I will be there again soon. I will probably have a little less time to write these days since it’s tax season and one of us is already knee deep in tax preparation and looking to me for help. The fun is definitely over! But I will continue reading your blogs and commenting and hopefully when I come up for air, I will be inspired enough to drop you a few lines.
Life is a wonderful thing that’s always evolving and changing. Whatever hardship, pain, stress or even good times we’re currently facing, it will eventually change. That’s the beauty and reality of life and it’s surprises! We just have to learn to accept, embrace, enjoy, persevere and learn from life’s experiences and believe that it will all work out in the end.
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