Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happiness is...coming home!

It’s hard to believe it’s all over. Tomorrow I’ll be back at work and the past month will begin to move into the hazy realm of memory. Boy is it hard to let go. My reality isn’t an overly difficult or miserable one but in comparison to the events of the last little while it definitely seems dull and prosaic. I suppose that’s both the glory and problem with vacations; you get to step out of routine for a while, and while it enriches who you are it also feeds the need to see more, do more outside the scope of your limited existence.  I don’t know that I’ve gone anywhere that has made me feel I can truly cross an item from my bucket list, usually it gives me a collection of new things to add thanks to conversations with others that I’ve met or things I fall in love with that I need to do again or explore deeper. It’s just as addictive as any drug.

But I do also find many more things at home to be grateful for.  As interesting and exciting as it is to travel and explore and experience new things there really is no place like home. I’m so blessed to live in a free and mostly stable country, to have a job and a roof over my head. And I’m thankful for the familiar; knowing what to expect and how to respond, not having to be continually aware and on guard.  (Travel may be stimulating but it’s also exhausting!)

Here are a couple of happiness lists I composed along the way. First the traveling version:

  • Seeing a place very few people have seen
  • Meeting new people
  • Finding your sea legs
  • Eating 2 appetizers and 3 desserts with your dinner if you feel like it
  • Feeling like it!
  • The blue of glacial ice
  • Watching penguins porpoise on the swell or waddle across barren ice
  • Glimpsing a whale fluke on the distant sea
  • Concerts and live entertainment nightly
  • Being so overwhelmed with beauty only tears can tell the story
  • Watching albatross wheeling and coasting in the breeze
  • Feeling a sense of wonder that fills your entire soul
  • Watching a speck in the distance reveal itself as you journey towards it
  • Napping any time you want
  • Learning about new places, people, and things
  • Sleeping on a boat
  • Having someone make your bed in the morning and turn down the bed and leave chocolates on your pillow at night
  • Millions of photo ops every single day
  • Having to use Jr. High Spanish and sign language to communicate…and getting your point across!

The returning home version:
Flying into SLC
  • The first glimpse of home after a long voyage
  • Flushable toilet paper
  • Drinkable water
  • Not having to live out of a suitcase (having more than 4 outfits to choose from!)
  • NOT having to wait in airport lines or sit on a bus or plane for hours on end
  • Not having to share a room
  • Sleeping in my own bed
  • Being able to understand the announcements over the PA system and read the headlines in the newspapers
  • Having a conversation with someone who has known you longer than a few days
  • Having amazing experiences and photos to scrapbook (enough to last me for years!)
  • Figuring out the next great adventure

Even if you never leave home the future is the greatest unknown and adventure and we each get to face it in our own way. Let’s make it good, shall we?

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