Archive for August, 2014

Starting Fresh

by on Monday, August 4th, 2014

Nearing the end.  Today is the last day of a very long vacation. Ten days away from my Mikey and my puppy. Ten days away from my home and my routine. Ten days away from what I love. I got pretty homesick after only 5 days. I’ve never been away by myself for that amount of time and though I planned the trip to a writer’s conference, it got piggy backed with a family vacation, and ended up being a long time away from home for me.

This particular  journey started with a Writer’s Conference. A three day seminar on the business and technique of writing. Those Conferences are intensive, beginning early, ending late with back to back classes all day long. When it’s over it takes me days to process the information, and I’m usually mentally exhausted by the time it’s over. Only one day to soak it in this time…

I spent a day by myself afterward, processing, preparing, then checked into a wonderful little bed and breakfast and began writing again. Able to put in a good chunk of time with my book, I worked on rewrites and added a lot of new content.  The next day I met up with my family for a week stay at a vacation home on a lake in Indiana. My mom and Grandmother, aunt and cousin were there and the youngest member of the family, Adam who is fourteen. My other cousin and his partner came a day later.  It was a quiet, though unrestful vacation. The bed I was assigned pretty well sucked. It was too hard, and too short. And for some reason, I relegated myself to two feet of the mattress near the edge because I knew Mike would be filling the other half at the end of the week. Anticipation.

The time spent with family was fun and fulfilling, we laughed, we grumped, we got angry and then forgave. Normal family dynamics in my little clan. I sometimes wonder that because we are a small group, only 17  including significant others,  that  the dynamics are that much stronger.

We collectively dealt with Plumbing Failure, in capital letters because the professionals took 24 hours to repair and unplug the damage. Having to walk two doors down to a neighbor’s house to use the commode was difficult fot the old and injured members. We dealt with everyone’s differing perception of the temperature, cold weather in July and loosing the plumbing again.

My mom and her sister are good at finding chores that need to be done, and one cousin is very good at avoiding them. The youngest and the oldest are along for the ride, meaning they aren’t expected o do any work, which leaves me, and one cousin and his girlfriend to do the majority.

I never really mind, since I’d rather be busy doing something that sitting around. That’s just the way I roll. But a week of cooking and cleaning for ten-12  people gets tiring. I am On, ( with a capital O) all day from the moment they get out of bed. (On) my best behavior, (On) for doing favors, (On) for taking care of business. Imagine being the host of a week long party. That’s me.

The mental demands of trying to make sure everyone is happy, wore me out near the end, though I wouldn’t do it any differently. I want to help out. I am a pleaser, on the ‘How Do You Relate to People’ spectrum. I found myself trying to appease them as a group…making sure they were fed and planning activities, and then individually… by giving back rubs when needed, and playing games with the youngest.

I got  in my writing time though. I set my alarm every day, just like at home to get  in a few hours of writing every morning. And at the beginning of the week I had quiet opportunities to practice Budo and move my body. All in all it was a relaxing time, no work and no other commitments. It was good.

Mike, my daughter and her boyfriend joined us for the final weekend, my son was too busy for vacation. (busy doing what, I don’t know) But as great as it was having my clan there, it divided my loyalties, spreading me thinner. On the last day I cooked, cleaned, ran errands, went shopping, went swimming, went shopping again and cooked dinner for 12 people. That night I had business to complete with five members of the group, and a backrub for my grandmother. Then…….then, I was spent. I did sleep that night, go figure.

And when we got home, Mmmm. Home felt so good. Today I can go back to work feeling like I do this because I enjoy it. I can be with my students and be refreshed, not grumpy and tired of the same old routine. Today, my routine will be a refreshing change of pace.

Today, I start over.