Back to Real Life
Vacation is now over. It was wonderful. The weather was warm, the beach was beautiful, the skies were beautiful and so interesting with storms often in the area but not close enough to chase people indoors - watching the rain falling elsewhere from the clouds, sometimes way high up, and all the colors of the sky and sea and clouds was like having a special window into other worlds. I loved seeing the rays and the people and the turtle and the birds. I loved the walks and the books I read.
Now I'm back home It's still summer - in fact, summer is just beginning. I don't exactly have a daily grind; I have a lack of structure that is both freeing and not conducive to a feeling of normalcy. Creating my own structure is a challenge and I frequently fail in that endeavor.
That's actually what I like about vacation. One is not supposed to be doing anything. So not doing anything is the appropriate and correct thing to do, not something to feel guilty about or castigate myself for. Sitting on the porch looking at the waves, reading for hours at a time, not having a checklist of things done and left undone, not juggling obligations and necessaries and chores - this is what vacation is made of. Looking for and seeing the gifts life has out there just waiting for me to discover them - fresh air, sunshine, marine life to be viewed, walks to be taken with pleasure, sand castles.
Not so, real life. Chores seem boring - do I have to go to the grocery store again and buy the same stuff all over again? My unfinished projects stare at me accusingly from the to-do list: is there any reason why I haven't rehung the art I took down to repaint the downstairs? What about that list of calls I need to make? Is my finger broken so I can't dial? Do I not remember that mulching the flower beds will keep down the weeds? For some reason the list seems daunting and I become paralyzed trying to decide what I ought to tackle next. Distractions abound and I seem prone to follow every one of them, and then I feel bad that I haven't been productive.
Apparently I am unable to look for and see gifts out there in my real life right now. This is a season that will pass, I know. Sitting with the discomfort can be life-giving, too, if I can be patient and look for God in the ambiguity and unfocusedness of a summer of unstructured days. God is there. I have to look and wonder and accept.