I loved the feeling of being 'home' that I had in New England. People there live life at maximum intensity; everything matters. What text will be on the mural in the center of town, what store to shop at, trash collection: all subject to public and intense debate. I often feel like I have to tone myself down so I don't blow people away. Not that I need to take up all the space in the room, but I like to ask 'real' questions, dig deep and be honest. That doesn't always work in social situations. Yet, in New England, my friends all asked me 'personal' questions and I loved it. I wasn't the only one!
I'm over it
After my second trip in a month (the other just involving staying on-site in San Francisco for two nights), I think I'm over the travel for work bug. No matter how many people I visited with, the empty hotel room at the end of the night felt cold and very lonely. I can see why people fall into affairs if they travel a great deal. At least with the time difference between Boston and California, I could call Jrex at the end of the night and rehash the day, but it wasn't the same. No matter how luxurious, or how nice the view, the robe or the free shampoo, it's an empty box. When Jrex is out of town, the apartment feels lonely, but with the dog, our books, our music, our movies, it's a welcoming loneliness.
It's very hard to get back into the rhythm of work. I just don't care right now. Plus, most of my current projects are post-conference wrap up. Organizing files and making covers for presentations are just not the sort of project that gets my juices going. Knowing that I'll be on vacation next week is adding to my lack of motivation...
Don't you like mine better?
Vacation with the in-laws next week! Oddly, I'm looking forward to it. We'll have a few days with the whole family all together in a little house in Venice. I'm picturing our poor niece being pulled from one set of arms to the next...as in, if she runs to Jrex to be held or read to, his Dad will get competitive and try to pick her up, too.
The other interaction that should be 'fun' will be photos in Yosemite. Jrex and his Mom both hate being in photographs and try to avoid it. His Dad and I both enjoy taking photos. The last visit we had with them, we checked out the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden State Park. All the way through, Dad K would exclaim, "Sun Ae (the Korean name they gave me), take a picture of that!" I would. Then he would. Then we'd compare. And I would say, "Wow, Dad, your picture looks so good. I love it!" Due to an intense, traumatic life, there are sides of him that are a seven-year old boy who is starving for affirmation. It doesn't hurt me to give it to him, though I don't know how I'll feel after four days of comparative photography...
Muttola Rules the World
I love having a dog that other people also enjoy. We keep accumulating dog-sitters for her. When I pick up Jrex from lab on weekends, I let her run around while we wait for him. A week ago, she ran up to a woman who was loading her car and looked ready to go home with her. (Muttola is such a scavenger that mostly, she's looking for food, but I don't let on) The woman later told Jrex that she would love to dog sit if we ever need it. That makes three different homes she can stay in, no charge, with people who are grateful to have a dog-fix. I'm all about helping people, so, hey, if having our dog at your house for a few days will be good for you, I'm right there for you! Self-sacrificing, humble, quiet, that's me.