Trips are awesome until you come home
I love being with friends, chatting about where we see our life headed, making plans, and figuring out my next steps. This past weekend I got to be with some friends and it was fantastic.
Re-entry into my life after such an amazing trip should be seamless. I’ve had an awesome time. I should be grateful for it and just step back into my usual life.
I wish it were that easy.
What transition is really like
I wish I could transition right back into being a parent and wife and a business person the second I get home. I DID just get to be away and recharge for 4 days! It would be natural to believe that I would be ready to be right back at living my life again.
Inevitably, though, I feel frustration and a bit of feeling down when I return from a fun and/or business trip… especially one where I’ve had very little responsibility. By that time I’m craving some downtime. A bit of just me time to be alone and to process and write about whatever happened… whatever we talked about or made plans for. I need time to work them out in my own mind. I want the chance to make sense of them and produce my own vision for the projects.
Yesterday, when I arrived home from a trip filled with discussions about life and business and direction, was no different. I needed some transition time.
It wasn’t available. I had stepped in the door and was already late for a skype call. Within minutes of that Grace came home from school. The rest of the night was full of mom responsibilities as Mike headed off to work.
Lame mom guilt
I watched Mike drive away and I have to admit… I felt like a lame mom. Why couldn’t I am more excited that I was home? When my other kids got home I heard about more things that needed to be done that night and I saw each possible moment slipping away and leaving no opportunity for some quiet time and a chance to write. I was craving some alone time and it just wasn’t going to happen.
Feeling a bit bugged, I walked over to the kitchen sink to begin getting dinner ready. I glanced out the kitchen window and saw all of our chairs sitting around the campfire. I immediately wished that I could be sitting out there reading my book and writing. Looking around, I realized that Emma and Grace were not inside. I walked to the front door and saw them carefree and playing outside.
In one breath I felt different
I walked out into the fresh, cool late afternoon air and breathed in as I approached both of them. Emma was shooting a basketball into the hoop and Grace was riding her scooter. I took a few pictures of them with my iPhone, laughed with them, and played with them. For the next hour, I went back and forth from the kitchen and making taquitos with Emmett for dinner and going outside with Emma and Grace.
Each time I would walk outside into the beautiful evening, green grass and blue sky a little more frustration would melt away. I’d feel a little more restored. We had dinner once he decks under the deep blue sky, spotting fireflies, laughing, and losing track of time.
My earlier need to have time to myself and time to write didn’t disappear but I did feel the restorative effects that I was so desperately in need of. Even 5 minutes can have an immediate effect on your mood, lightening your worries and improving your outlook.
What can a few minutes spent in real-life nature restore?
-improves job and brain performance
-helps your mind focus
-increases inquisitiveness and alertness
-alleviates symptom of stress and depression
-satisfaction with life and greater stores of patience
-contributes to well-being
-being in nature improves job performance and the mind’s ability to focus
It’s definitely time to get outside!
(This article brings together a great deal of research about how nature improves our emotional health. It’s awesome!)