After being away for 22 of the past 25 days, I feel like I may never leave the comfort of my own home again. I'm staying here, boarding up the doors, and hiding out for, oh, the next decade.
I'll probably change my mind by next week. Maybe.
As we were driving home, I asked my husband what he was most looking forward to about our arrival. My stuff, he said, and I could completely sympathize. There's nothing like your own bed, your own pillows, your own closet, your own food in the fridge, your own whatever after being away for a while.
My own space, he added, and again I nodded my agreement. If there's one advantage to being an introvert married to an introvert, it's that your spouse totally gets it. There's no "why don't you want to talk to me?" or "why aren't you spending time with me?" or "what did I do to make you so angry???" No, after the chaos and intensity and social demands of holiday travels, there is only understanding. You go sit in your corner and I'll sit in mine and neither of us will say a word for the next two evenings. At least.
But as nice as it is to have my stuff and my space, the thing I am most happy to have back is my routine. It might be a pretty sad routine compared to the more structured individuals out there, but it is our routine and I love it nonetheless.
And for me, that routine includes this blog. This is my one precious outlet, my place to process and grow, my voice. Oh, did I miss it. I've determined from the start to refuse to allow my writing to become a chore or requirement, so I let it slide during our busy December instead of forcing out something just for the sake of having something to post. But now December is gone and January is here and my fingers are itching to get at this keyboard and let out the words that have been building up inside.
Oh, but I make it sound as though our time away was nearly torturous. Quite the farthest thing! I was able to, along with my sisters, throw my parents a 30th anniversary party with all their closest friends. My baby ("baby"!) turned two and we celebrated that with my family as well. I was there when my niece's adoption was finally, after a long and heart-wrenching twenty-one months, finalized and made official, much to our joy and relief. There were board games played, good movies watched, and far too much food eaten. Christmas with my in-laws was filled, as it always is, with much laughter and happiness. We rang in the new year with prayer, singing, and communion - by far the best New Years Eve I have ever spent. My beautiful sister-in-law became engaged to a man my boys adore. (What can I say? I'm a mother; if you're that awesome with my boys, I can't help but like you.) Our holidays were wonderful and saying good-bye was as difficult as it always is.
But now we're home and home we're staying.
For a decade.