About ten days ago, I cracked. My exterior shell and interior soft bits had been stretched and strained for months, and finally the load was too much to bear and the cracks showed up on the surface. Prior to drowning I was able to at least call out that I was coming to pieces and with some help and encouragement I clawed my way back to the surface.
And then? I went home.
Part of my remote-working contract stipulates a number of paid trips back to Salt Lake per year for work. Last week was my first, and the timing could not have been better. It air was cold and bluebird clear, there was snow on the mountains and my schedule allowed for plenty of time in the office catching up with co-workers. I rocked a big work presentation that went swimmingly, and STILL had plenty of evenings free for catching up with friends, going to plays, hosting a book club, and celebrating my niece and nephew’s birthdays with Mexican food and lots of cake. My last night in Salt Lake we had a gorgeous snow storm (not Jonas level, but 8-12″ in the valleys and a few feet in the mountains). My flight home gave me some gorgeous views of freshly snowed-on mountains and stormy clouds obscuring the highest peaks. I am getting all swoony again just thinking about it.
Basically, it was the perfect week and I’m already counting down the days and weeks to my next trip.
Until the end of last year I have lived in Utah my whole life and I consider Salt Lake my hometown. In ways that some people will always think of their childhood neighborhood or their parent’s house as “home”, for me, it is a mid-sized city nestled between the Rockies and a Great Salt Lake. No matter where I am, or how happy I am there, Salt Lake will always be home. And that’s okay. This is a new emotion for me, this home-sickness, when I moved to Salt Lake to go to college I did not miss any previous residence(s), I just felt like I was home.
Now that I’m back in the Valley of the Sun I am trying to take your wonderful advice to heart. I have carved out some time for creative pursuits: I’ve doodled ideas for a dozen paintings, done a color study-sketch for three, and started the first with a promising layer of base paint. I picked a gym and am testing out two different yoga studios in my area (one is hot yoga, do you have thoughts or opinions about hot yoga?). I am researching some hiking and outdoorsy adventures for future weekend jaunts, and Mr. Blue Eyes and I are taking advantage of the mild weather to work on our backyard, he is building me some raised planter boxes for flowers and vegetables and we have plans for a patio and fire pit and a couple of citrus trees. In a few weeks our backyard will no longer be the depressing state of dead sprinkler parts and piles of partially-dead weeds. Baby steps, my friends. Baby steps.