I’ve been home exactly two weeks and one day now.

Every time I return from a long journey, I find that while I’m happy to be home, it takes a couple of weeks to get settled back into the life I temporarily left behind. And often the result is, unfortunately, that I get overwhelmed and completely freaked out about getting back to my old routine quickly. So much so,  that of course, I put writing off while I run around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to get things done, dammit.

Get the old Schwinn beach cruiser fixed – there’s always something wrong with it when I come home and if I don’t get it fixed, then I resort to walking everywhere instead, which is fine, but it takes a lot longer to get from place to place.  And don’t forget, I’m trying to get things done. Get doctor and dentist and acupuncture and vet appointments in – make that insurance work for me, ’cause I never know how much longer I’ll have it.

And deal with the broken furniture, there’s always some broken furniture that needs to be fixed when I get home. This time it’s my armoire. So, I’m not using it right now. The result is a giant pile of clothing on the floor in my cramped bedroom. When I can’t find clothes to wear, it’s difficult to get motivated in the morning.

This time when I got back home from being gone for so long, the need to purge a lot of possessions has been one of the highest priorities on my list. I’ve been stacking up books, gadgets, art supplies, clothes and anything I can find that I haven’t used or won’t use anytime soon and carting everything out the front door. The curb is my friend – along with the thrift store. And I had a giant yard sale. That helped.

And don’t you know it, the second I return home from a long journey, my body says, “Nope, sorry, I’m the one who’s taking a vacation now.”   So, I spent all last week lying in bed barely able to breathe from a nasty head cold, but I did manage to finish reading an entire novel and that was nice. I don’t think I’ve ever gone through an entire box of kleenexes like that before. I’m back to the land of the living now and just have no idea where to start . . . “can’t find clothes. Can’t put clothes into broken armoire, oh fuck it, I should just go on a bike ride, but oh yeah, I’m naked” . . . that’s kind of my thought process.

So here I stew in a swamp of clothing, papers, errands and doctor visits. I want to get it all done now. I can’t. I accept it. But there is a sense of urgency, because although I have not formally announced the destination – I’m heading off in about six weeks on another very long journey. I’m excited about it, but need to get a lot of things done before jetting off again, so I’m also kind of stressed. I’m trying to enjoy Venice as much as I can while I prepare to leave again. It’s a strange dichotomy and I find I’m not really able to enjoy sliding into the chill Venice groove while at the same time feeling the hustle and go-go-go of impending departure.

I just try to smile as much as I can and be thankful instead of bitchy, grateful instead of impatient and happy instead of overwhelmed. Gosh, these palm trees and blue skies certainly don’t suck. I have wonderful friends, opportunities and resources in my life. And as my acupuncturist made me realize today – I do know exactly what I want and I’m damn lucky for that because there are a whole lot of people who wander through their entire lives and never know exactly what it is they want.

Yeah, and I’m trying to breathe more too. I’ll keep ya’ll posted on that.