I haven't written much lately. Nor have I read, taken pictures, or exercised. And I miss them.
I had hoped and planned to have a very productive summer, to finish a few more chapters on my book, to get back into photography, and to finally shed this extra 10ish pounds that I've accrued since moving back to the states. Sadly, none of them happened. Time and time again throughout the summer I said, "Okay, next week I'll start." But time and time again, it didn't happen (diet starts Monday!) But here's the crazy thing, I don't regret it. Because what did happen, what did fill those time slots was relationships. I spent more time with family and friends, with closing the computer or putting down the camera and, instead, going swimming, fishing, and walking. Instead of writing, I talked on porches, in living rooms, and over delicious summer food. I spent time laughing over memories old and new and crying over life and hardships.
I took my kids fishing, hiking, and swimming in the Atlantic.
We drove from Wyoming to Kansas City, then Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and Montana.
And for that time and those memories, I have little regret.
Yet, I'm still disappointed . . . no, that's not it. I'm still . . . I don't know, out of sorts maybe? Confused? Hazy? I'm more than a bit ready for routine and order, to get back into the rhythm of reading and writing and tucking my wingtip shoes under the bench by the door after a long day's work. I'm ready to get back into teaching and school schedules and simple living.
But, I'm also not.
The other night, @chelseakauai shared a story and I suddenly wanted to pack up the van once more and head out the door. I suddenly missed the road and travel and waking up each day with our entire life and family packed into our blue conversion van.
Why is that?
I wonder if some of it has to do with responsibility. Granted, there is a ton of responsibility while traveling, but they're simplified, restricted to the road, the van, and the next couple days. I also wonder if a lot of it has to do with how each day is a new beginning of sorts. How, even though yesterday's campsite wasn't great or we argued in the hotel, today, we're moving on. Literally. We driving away from that disappointment and heading towards hope that the next place will be better, cooler, and more of whatever.
Mostly though, I think it just comes down to being content. When I'm traveling, when the mile markers are zipping past the window, I can easily get lost in the "someday" dream because I'm in transition and plans are in the future, where the possibilities are endless. When I get home though, when the van is parked, the moving truck unloaded, and the boxes start to clutter the living room floor, "someday" suddenly becomes today, and it isn't what I envisioned. The possibilities suddenly seem overwhelming, and out of reach.
Much like the first day of school.
Yesterday, Judah entered a new school for the second year in a row. All summer long, he was a bit nervous about it, but mostly he was okay, even a little excited at times. But then, as the day crept closer and closer, as we began to get his clothes ready, buy his school supplies, and see his classmates around town, his optimism began to waver. "I won't know anybody," he would say, or "They all already have their friends." Suddenly, with reality looming just around the weekend, the possibilities of friends seemed impossible. So we talked about history.
"What was your first day like last year?" I asked.
"Scary," he said.
"About how long did that last?"
He shrugged, "A month maybe." (It was more like a couple weeks, but I could see how that would feel like months).
"And did you make friends?"
"Yes." Many actually.
"And what about when you played on a new basketball team, soccer team, or went on that weekend trip with other kids from other schools," I asked, "Did you make friends there?"
"Yes." He said, because he did. He made lots of friends, and not because he's super popular or because of anything extraordinary, but because he showed up, day after day, until school and kids and friends were part of the norm.
So why then am I so hazy? So confused or unsettled?
I think, perhaps, it simply has to do with the fact that I haven't been here long enough. Because my mind and habits are still a bit used to travel and change and the security of "someday."
Someday the house will be in order.
Someday this place will feel like home.
Someday I will get back to my writing.
Someday I'll lose this extra weight.
Someday . . .
Someday . . .
Someday . . .
I don't want to live for someday. So I'll change the script.
Today I'll work on putting the house in order.
Today I will work on making this place feel like home.
Today I will writing.
Today I will work on losing that extra weight.
Today . . .
Today . . .
Today . . .
Yet, I look forward to traveling once more with my family, where the windows are rolled down and the road stretches far ahead. Because I love those days. Immensely.
A conundrum. And I think I'm okay with that.