After a big trip it seems to always take a few days to catch up on sleep. It takes even more days to clean up and put away everything from a big trip. However, travel is something my husband and I love. It is part of the reason I joined the military when I was still a teen and it is definitely why he chose a traveling job. Last week we basically lived in Denver. I took advantage of the quiet room to read, write book reviews, and create a literature study over The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. He enjoyed the evening meals from our little hotel kitchenette.
However, the best thing about being in Denver was how close we were to our daughter. Our love for travel taught her to not fear going where her heart takes her. As a result she works in New Mexico at a big scout ranch. It is her job to play the fiddle, teach fly tying and fishing, and interact with backpackers. Her days off are few and far between, but we happened to be in the same area at the same time she was taking her ‘days off’. What a joy it was to visit with our daughter. More so, it was a joy to see her face when we presented her with a box of coveted Twinkies.
Unfortunately now it’s time to get back into the swing of daily life.
Okay I’m just a day away from the beginning of the BAK (Biking Across Kansas) event. My stomach is fluttering. I’m still a little unsure of what it will be like to ride with hundreds of other cycle enthusiasts. However, I do feel fairly prepared.
My legs, lungs, and butt have been practicing for the big event. The only thing that isn’t quite ready is my mind which honestly is the worst thing not to have prepared. The body can do many things, but it can do very little if the mind doesn’t lead.
So in order to help keep my mind off any pain or panic, I have packed some light reading (as can be seen sitting atop my tent). I also have note pads and pens ready for a homework assignment from my writer’s group. If everything works out I’ll have an hour or two each day to just sit, think, and write. Of course I’ll always find time to read.
I’m sure after the first day I will be able to take a deep breath and begin to fall into a nice routine. However, until then my stomach will wrestle with a million little butterflies. Hopefully since my bicycle is glowing with anticipation it might be kind enough to help me settle those butterflies.
The holidays have always been one of my favorite times of the year. I love Halloween, Thanksgiving, & Christmas not just because they represent reasons to eat & celebrate, but because they each bring people together. Since my birthday falls between each & usually near or on Thanksgiving it too has always felt special. Sure as a kid the presents were nice, but knowing the extended family would visit was always far better. Actually up until I was a preteen I honestly thought the whole family visited us because it was my birthday so my day has always caused me to feel warm & fuzzy, never mind that in reality the relatives really visited for the turkey & dressing celebration. Oh well, whatever the reason it didn’t matter to me.
Even today my birthday is special. It’s so special I have no problem with owning up to all 40 of them. Actually this year was especially special. My dear friends moved back from India & spent their vacation with us, my husband threw a fabulous surprise party for me in which a multitude of friends & family showed up, & I got to spend my special week cooking & catching up with loved ones. Technology didn’t matter, school work was almost entirely put on hold, & the daily grind was not important.
If it wasn’t for a final school project I would deem this birthday as perfect. Oh well, even great experiences require small challenges, it’s the twists & turns which keeps life interesting.
Turning 40 should be no exception. I suspect this year will be challenging & fun. So in an effort to explore what it is like to be entering mid-life while still raising a family, attending graduate school, & exploring how to approach this new phase in life I’ve decided to record the journey in pictures & words.
Happy holidays to you & happy 40 to me!