Traveling home for an entire week is many adjectives; some negative, lots positive, but all together too many to list. I love having the uninterrupted time to spend with my family. I love seeing the bay when I drive into town. I love that doing anything requires driving “into town”. I love sitting on the couch with my very pregnant sister and watching TV at two in the afternoon. I love being here, with everyone, instead of having conversations on the phone and through group text messages.

But “coming home” also means that I am leaving my home. And it isn’t always easy to leave your normal routine behind. This week, I even had to leave Sean behind, which makes it much harder. But having done this all before and fully knowing I will do it all again I have developed a few tricks to help myself remain calm in the chaos. It’s not always easy, but it’s necessary and more importantly, it’s possible!

1. Baggage. luggage ready to goIf you hate the bags you take, you will hate them even more each time you have to get into them. Since my bags are essentially my dresser, closet, bathroom counter and laundry hamper for the week, I am certain that I like how everything fits and shifts around before I leave my home. Personally, I like bags with pockets, so when I travel I must have a pocket bag! It’s weird, but necessary. I just like knowing where all my things are, you know?

2.Maintain your normal workout (kind of). running shoes at britsIf I don’t take time during the week to do what me me, to do what makes me calm, to do what makes me healthy, then I am doing something wrong. One of the most important lessons I have learned is: if you don’t take time to care for yourself, you won’t be able to care for others. Since I started training for my 10k, running has become a very essential part of my routine. When I went home, I knew that I couldn’t stop running just because my environment was changing. I also knew, however, that I couldn’t reasonably expect myself to get the same workout there that I do when I’m home. So I altered my expectations, but stayed devoted to getting a strong workout when I was able to sneak one in. And you know what? It worked. And I felt really good about it.

3. Don’t forget your favorite Mug. coffee mug on suitcaseReally though, home is where your favorite coffee mug is. Don’t leave home without it.

4. Pack a Hobby.holding yarn and needleEven though it didn’t exactly feel like it at times, I was on vacation. Other than bouncing between sisters and brothers and their growing families, I didn’t have anything to do. So, I was sure to pack my crocheting supplies. Also, because I didn’t know what my twin sister was having yet, I had to pack my supplies to whip up a hat or two before I left. No niece or nephew of mine was going to go hatless while I was in town.

Most importantly: forget about everything else that you to do at home. You are on  vacation after all!


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