It is so good to be home. I had a very nice time, in general, on the trip, especially in terms of the company of Ben. The clause “in general” is only necessary because the infection and stomach problems were so intense that it knocked the enjoyment factor of the vacation down a few pegs. Although I did a great job not allowing the terrible ill feelings to crab up my mood, it was still an ever-present discomfort that detracted from the genuine carefree joy I was hoping for. However, I must say, I seem to have escaped the common issue of the return-to-regular-life dread and sadness that often has overtaken me after returning home from a vacation.
It’s not that I’m thrilled to be back to my solitary days and routine commitments (of course it’s more fun to hang out with Ben and check out cool sites), but being away reminded me of how much I do like my daily life. I’m so grateful for having a house, a job I love, my wonderful dog, and the comforts of everyday things like my blankets, the bike path, and food I can safely eat. I slept so much better in my own bed last night with my favorite pillow, weighted blanket, and array of white noisemakers. Because of the combined problems of my sensory processing problems and Ben’s sleep apnea and snoring, we don’t sleep in the same bedroom at home. In fact, we are on different floors. We spend quality time together during waking hours (though not much during the week), but prioritize good sleep at night over togetherness with the consequence of poor sleep. Sharing the same tiny hotel room on vacation is an overt reminder of why, although appealing in theory to cuddle all night in the same bed, we have separate bedrooms. We did our best in the hotel room to be patient with one another, polite, and forgiving with the undesirable effects the other person created on the sleep environment. It’s definitely a test of one’s composure and maturity to not get crabby when you can’t sleep because your partner is snoring or, in that person’s shoes, when your partner keeps waking you up because you are snoring. The overtiredness that results from the inevitable lack of sleep further shortens one’s temper and amps up crankiness and irritability. I must say, Ben and I navigated the situation quite amicably, at least compared to prior times, though we had our tough moments.
I love the gratitude I’ve been filled with since returning, both for the opportunity we had to go away and for the riches of our daily life. When you’re grinding away at daily life every day, and that life is as seemingly challenging as mine is, it’s natural to overlook the good parts of it or keep a healthy perspective that even the tougher parts are actually sandwiched between goodness. For example, I am usually aware that I like my job, but I missed working so much even over just four days! It was a blessing to be reminded how lucky I am to, by and large, love what I do. There are certainly projects I don’t enjoy as much or don’t engross me the way many others do, but as a whole, it’s a job I’m genuinely happy to have and feel honored to perform. There have been other vacations I’ve taken where upon taking a break to gain perspective on what I’m doing day-to-day, especially in terms of career, I realize how miserable I am. This was a wonderful gift on the contrary, a reassurance that I’ve made a good choice in my life (opting not to pursue prosthetics and orthotics despite all my intensive schooling, and engage in my current line of work instead).
I hope that Ben and I keep the fun memories of the trip alive and continue strengthening our partnership. I also hope I heal up and feel better soon and that I keep my appreciation for my life in mind in spite of the very real challenges and struggles I feel every day. There is some good and some gift to be found in each day; some days, it’s just harder to find than others.