I’m on an airplane as I write, flying somewhere over Lake LBJ in central Texas, with naught but 26,000 feet of air between myself and the ground. It’s really and truly amazing what a metal tube with two big triangles on its side can do when pushed really fast.
Anyway, I had to travel for work this week, spending three days in San Antonio (yes, I was flying over Oklahoma when I wrote Monday’s post). For me, work travel is exhausting. It means rising early, working feverishly to squeeze as much in as possible in the meager amount of time on site, eating foolishly because someone else is picking up the tab, and loitering in the hotel bar longer than is really prudent. It’s enough to wear out the neighborhood Oompa
Loompas, let alone me. I’m ready to get home, kick off my shoes, slip into my recliner, and fall asleep.
That said, I’m the father of four and my wife has been flying solo for three days; odds are good that I’ll be handed The Attitude when I get home and The Puddinette will head for a garden bathtub and an elicit rendezvous with Calgon. My children will undoubtedly want to know what souvenirs I’ve brought back (notice I didn’t say if) before they even offer me a greeting, and my evening is almost certain to be full of bickering, petty disagreements, and complaints that it isn’t yet time for pajamas, to brush teeth, or for bed. And that’s just my wife.
All kidding aside, returning home from a trip is great because being absent, you remember the litany of minute things that are too mundane to garner notice typically. I get to sleep in my own bed tonight, and I bet there are clean sheets. I’ll walk around the house barefoot, in an old t-shirt and sleep pants. I’ll be able to read to my kids, or maybe they will read to me. A nice late dinner with my wife will happily take the place of the late pint or two with coworkers and the hotel bartender.
The wheels of the plane will hit the runway in a little over 30 minutes, and I’ll get home just in time for the chaos of dinner and the normal nightly pandemonium of bath and bedtimes. It’s usually the very definition of hectic, and tonight I’ll love every second of it. You miss a lot of everyday life in three days; sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that that’s really the good stuff.