I've always had problems with vacations. Life is interesting to me, and, well, I'm greedy: I don't want to miss any of it.
"Regular" life is soothing in its monotony. During the week I have no trouble (well, almost no trouble) taking a nap when I'm tired or skipping some housework that doesn't absolutely need to get done this week (those of you who know me will recognize that as code for "pretty much anything except the white laundry"). But send me off for a few days with friends, and suddenly life is its own caffeine. I stay up way past my usual stick-in-the-mud bedtime, spend way more time with people than is normally comfortable for me (alone time = processing time for me, and I do need to process), and basically burn the candle at both ends until there is nothing left but a singed wick stub.
I don't want to miss any of it - the conversations, the laughter, the chance to make memories.... and then I go home, spent and exhausted.
I just got back on facebook after deactivating my account for almost four weeks. It would make an interesting post to say that my life was radically different while I was off, but it would be an exaggeration. The first day or two I noticed that I was doing things with my children when I might have gotten online and checked out my friends' lives, but after that I guess I formed other routines. I stopped noticing facebook or its absence in my life.
But today, back on facebook, I began to notice a difference. I wanted to know what was going on. Who shared something about their day? Who's happy today? Who's sad? And why? How could I encourage, cheer on my friends? What could I share?
I didn't want to miss anything.
The last time I was away with friends for a few days, I learned something. It's okay to leave the group and take a break, alone with my thoughts. I come back refreshed, ready to really be with them again, ready to really listen, laugh, cry. It's okay to be the first one to go to bed, even though all the "good" conversations so often happen late at night. (Actually, we might be getting old: the "good" conversations tend to happen on walks in broad daylight, now, or in groups of two or three sitting on the porch. The late night conversations seem to have longer pauses and more yawns in them every year.) If I missed anything, I didn't notice. I think I rather gained, instead.
Back on facebook today, when Nice came to tell me about her drawing, I closed the laptop so that I could look in her eyes and really hear her - even though I hadn't finished typing my comment.
I asked my Farmer if life was any different around here the last four weeks. He said well, it did seem like you were a little more here, somehow. A little more available to us.
They are my family. They come first: my Farmer, Sugar, Spice, Nice, and Lil' Snip. I want them to know that not just because I tell them, but because I am here for them, I have time for them. I look into their eyes when they talk to me instead of murmuring "mm-hmm" while clicking keys.
I don't want to miss anything here.