Thursday, March 4, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes

I've been fighting the blues today, probably because I'm less than a week back from the Iceland Adventure one year to the day from when we left for last year's trip to Hue and beyond. I am reminded of the French Canadian doctor in Ho Chi Minh City who administered the immune globulin shot I needed after my Cambodian dog bite. He said he had decided to work abroad when he realized that he enjoyed getting home more than he did being at home. Interestingly enough, he was going to leave Vietnam in December for a new expatriate gig ... in Haiti. I hope he made it through the earthquake safely because they certainly need his skills in the aftermath.

It is not that I actively dislike being home so much as I dislike all the little day-to-day responsibilities that being home entails. I have always been somewhat cleaning-impaired, so inhabiting a hotel room with maid service has a lot to say for itself. And while I come by my attraction to "stuff" naturally (if you think I'm a pack rat, I'll introduce you to my mother), I can actually function really well without most of it. The little things here eat at me. The dog or cat needs more pills? I'm the one who calls the vet to order them then either picks them up or negotiates with the husband for pickup. The things that need to be dealt with while away seem to be bigger things that one just deals with, no worries, boom, they've been done.

I would try to do a lot more traveling if it didn't cost so darn much. I've always been one to see a plane high in the sky, condensation trail streaming behind it, and stop to wonder where is it going? Will the people on it wake up tomorrow in another country? Across an ocean? What will they see there? What will they hear? Smell? Taste? Experience? The routines of home can be a safety net but they can also seem like bars on a window, that we can look but not get past.

I could go on, but I should probably work my way up to doing something useful instead. The master bathroom, for example, needs more than a surface wipe-down and fluffing, something beyond a quick toilet cleaning. I won't say when the last time I did the deep cleaning thing was. Let's just say we came home from Hue and beyond to a shiny, squeaky clean bathroom, and leave it at that.


Caroline M said...

Cleaning is for people who don't have other interests. I cleaned one toilet last week and I'm doing the other today. That's enough in a week for me to feel as if I'm on top of it all (I don't count the laundry routine)

What sweater patterns did you buy on your travels?

Jean said...


Blaine's sweater is from the Lopi No. 24 book--pattern 13 in shades of blue. Mine is from the Lopi No. 29 book--pattern 8 in back and grey. Blaine's is a pullover; mine is a zippered cardigan. It's knit in the round, though, then cut up the front, a plan that is causing me much anxiety even before I've started.

Debi said...

*hugs my dear friend*

Sometimes I feel like life is nothing but the small things drudgery. Worst part of all...most of it is my own damn doing.

I had to laugh at the bit about your mom being a packrat...all I could think of was the story about moving the cans of dirt. :)

Hope this weekend finds you feeling much better and having lots of fun!!!

Running Amok With An Ax said...

Life is too short and there are too many WAAAAAY more interesting things to occupy your time to worry too much about the cleaning (remind me
of that next time I bemoan my far-from-clean house). As a friend used to say: "I don't bother the dirt, and the dirt don't bother me".