It’s a new movement habit with myself and a few of my other thirty-something girlfriends. We sit together, drink tea and bitch about how much money our IRA’s have dumped in the last quarter. There is always a napkin, usually cloth because paper is so less environmentally friendly you know, to daub crumpet-crumbed mouths. And you’d better believe there is a stack of coasters on hand to protect the expensive mahogany Edwardian secretary desk with the satinwood inlay from accidental water marks.

We know the best Feng Shui masters in all of Los Angeles. We exchange both plant cuttings and hair color advice. We sup wine and eat exotic Thai from down the street on china plates that we’ve inherited from our grandmothers. The hiring and firing of plumbers, fine chocolates, adrenal fatigue and the best way to gracefully quit a job are topics of late. To meet with my friends over tea after being gone so long is comforting, but there is, at least with me, a pervasive air of unsettledness and restlessness.

I really try to suppress the desire throw rocks at the annoying kids down the street or howl at the yuppie assholes to walk away from the Pink Berry, back slowly away from the hundred-dollar t-shirt store and get the fuck off my unfortunately-ever-more-gentrified Venice sidewalks. I try not to focus on Wal-Mart, the economy, the election – all of it encapsulated within an unending media circus that just gets me more and more distracted and annoyed and cranky and feeling all helpless and well . . . part of the manipulated, depressed sheeple (part sheep, part people) faction of society.

It’s my goal to put that angst into some other more responsible, creative and gratifying outlets. So forgive me that I’ve been gone from blogging for a few weeks. I’ve just really not been too much fun to be around. I’ve been giving myself an AnnaTude adjustment.

Then I realize I’ve been on the road for a solid year. One entire year! And I take a big sigh and get all overwhelmed with catching up on all the dumb life stuff awaiting me now that I’ve returned home. Boring shit like doctors, the vet and taxes.

Yesterday I was at my favorite thrift store in Venice, The Bible Tabernacle Thrift Store, donating stuff back to them that I’ve carted out of there over the years. I was so happy to see that they were still in business and still had the same funky style even though the grungy ole beer store next to them has been remodeled into Lincoln Ave Fine Wines and a Whole Foods megaplex has taken over the defunct Big Lots space in the stripmall down the street.

John, the unassuming guy who runs the Tabernacle, perked up when he saw me walk in the store. “I haven’t seen you in wow, how long has it been . . . ? Did you have a good time on your journey?” he asked.

“Well,” I replied, “It’s been wonderful and tough sometimes, too . . . but in the end it was everything a good journey is supposed to be.” Then a smile crept across my face again. And it hasn’t left yet.

Then I realize I’ve been on the road for a solid year. One entire year! And I’m smiling still and grateful, because it has been an exciting year and I am living a dream.