Monday, January 18, 2016

Traveling Home

The idea of this blog was to share my travel experiences.... you know those that include going to cool places and having fun experiences. I hadn't thought of a post on traveling...home. That's where my journey has taken me though. 

Home is always a wonderful place to be. It's the place where we can relax, let go and just be. It's the location that houses are items and offers us shelter, respite and healing, all of which are on tap for us right now. 

After spending nearly two weeks in the hospital, I have to say, home felt damn good. I have a VERY soft, comfy bed. This is partly why I'm willing to get a hotel room when I hike, I require a bed for a good night's rest. I'm not worth much if I don't get that.... perhaps it's all in my mind but I do not feel like taking on the world when my spine feels like it's coming through my stomach.

I have a confession to make: coming home from any destination and experience typically brings up anxiety, rather than relief. I don't know why this is, but it's tangible. I do my best to put things in order before I leave so that my transition back is not overwhelming. That means having the trash taken out, fridge cleaned, laundry done, mail sorted, bills paid, floors and counters clean and house picked up. 

Since decluttering and streamlining my clothing, it doesn't take me very long to unpack, deposit dirty laundry in the wash machine, and store toiletries in the cupboard. I actually don't unpack those anymore. I use the same things at home that I do when I travel. Whenever go somewhere, be it overnight or for two weeks, I just put my case in the backpack and roll. That's helped a bunch. 

While home is comforting and quiet, this is also the place where all my to-do pool and circulate. I have a hard, hard time turning off my mind because I constantly see things that need taken out, reorganized, tended to. It's exhausted. Potential meets procrastination here and I'm walking a tight rope between the two. 

I've been reading and investigating habits and so once of the changes I made when I came back from my travels this time was to introduce a new "comfort" cue. In the midst of putting groceries away, taking care of kids, relocated the stack of mail, navigating through the abyss that is school work (theirs and mine), washing, drying and sorting laundry, meal prep and finding the floor, I brewed up a pot of delicious Dragon Eye Oolong Tea. I discovered this delightful treat during a lunch break while Pake was at the hospital. I needed something warm and sweet (but not too sweet). Leah picked me up and we dined at PF Chang's (lettuce wraps sounded great!). We ordered the tea and enjoyed a nice, quick meal. 

I commented on how much I loved it and wanted to buy some. After a bit of recon, Leah discovered that PF's would not make up a pot "to go" nor would they sell us any of the tea. She did wrangle the name of the company that makes it. And when I got home, waiting in my PO box was Republic Dragon Eye Oolong. That's an awesome friend, right there. Somehow she knew my re-entry here would need support. 

As soon as the counter was a bit cleared off, I reached to the top cupboard and pulled this old tea set out. My mother had procured for me many years ago. She got it at an estate sale and  believe Pake was very young when she gifted it to me. He's never been in to tea, but Parker and I used it many times! When I moved two years ago, I lugged this along, though sadly, I never used it. 

In the meantime, we've enjoyed tea at various eating joints. Pryce is also a fan. In the midst of how busy we are, I'd forgotten the tea set was even in the cupboard. When I dove in to the clutter clearing last fall, I revisited the cupboard. I actually had two sets and it took me some time to contemplate if I wanted them or not. 

I kept this tea set, with the ideal that I would start using it. Often and every day. That was the only justification that made sense. In fact. I've been applying this to about everything. I am no longer "saving" anything. If I like it and it feels good, I wear it. If I don't, out it goes. If it matches and resonates with my mood, emotions, style then it stays, no matter if we're talking art supplies, nice pens, stationary, shoes, bags, and all the other cool items I've collected. 

After being in a place where I had few options, I've come to see that my awareness is shifting. We just don't know what's coming, where we will be, what will happen or how things will change in the next few days, hours, weeks, months, years. I've always tried to embrace the present moment concept but it's hard when my mind is continually going in 10,000 directions.  I think it probably always will, what I am learning is that I don't have to follow it. 

In the midst of all the catching up and doing, I'm finding my center is more pronounced. It is easier to connect to. I think part of this is because I've let go of so much, both physically, emotionally and mentally. In clearing my physical space, it seems that I've created more space for.... peace. 

We've been through a pretty intense experience. I think I've collected enough observations and insights to write a book, and perhaps I'll post some here. For now, I think it's suffice to say that for the first time in a long, long time, I'm happy with being me, no matter what environment I'm in. I'm content when I look in the mirror and know that I have what it takes to meet the day's challenges. I've let go of having to plan, but I do have a flexible structure to keep me in alignment. 

I've incorporated habits that are helping me stay focused on my goals. I am in the process of refining those and shifting out some very old, ingrained ones. I expect it to be a long process, but there's been success and I hope to share that with others. 

The time away has helped me see what is important, what I am not willing to compromise on and what I would give my life for. It's helped me to slow down and see what is really important. Like this: Times with my children, simple, sweet, precious, beautiful. They are growing, quickly and I want to savor every moment that I can with them. 

There's so much we take for granted, from being able to move, eat, walk, sleep, converse, share, support, receive, and most of all experience EVERYTHING. We are beyond rich, no matter what the numbers in our bank accounts may say. If we have a place to sleep, food to eat, a way to get around and most importantly people to LOVE and people who LOVE us... we have it All. 

***This was more therapeutic to write than to read. I'm going to hit publish right after I finish typing. I have a tendency to obsess over what I write, how it sounds, how it is received. I have over 15 posts from December that I didn't publish. Part of my living in the future is making the choice to proceed, share and do so without worry and fear. If there are typos, (and most likely there are,)  I apologize. 

My purpose for writing this is to inspire others, to share my experiences in hopes of connecting with and reminding everyone that "we are all in this together". 

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