The Real World
If you are among my small cadre of regular readers … mostly lurkers, by the way … you may have noticed that I haven’t posted since Monday. It’s a bit ironic, I think, that for our first three days home, when I was entirely exhausted with my internal clock ticking along on Rome time as I shuffled along in Southern California, I continued to post daily, then, once I made it through the totally exhausted phase, nada. The truth is, my posts last weekend were already written … in my head … while we were on vacation. It didn’t take much energy to simply sit down at my laptop let them pass from brain to fingers to keyboard to WordPress. The rest of the week was spent trying to get back into our at-home routine. I’d been counting on a small assignment from the attorneys I’m working for as a technical expert to force me into a modicum of discipline but at the last minute, they didn’t need my service. I was on my own.
So, I made several pilgrimages to our park where I wrote in my journal and I replanted a some of the flowers that died in the pots in the yard (my son is not a disciplined waterer). I helped, as best I could, my wife get the house back in the condition she likes it before our house keeper arrived to do the real cleaning (my son is not a disciplined cleaner-upper). I say as best I could because my eyes don’t notice some of the messes she does and because my male brain doesn’t quite understand cleaning up for the housekeeper. To make up for the real work (as in paying real money) that didn’t happen, I worked on a video of our trip (which pays in creative satisfaction). I did my volunteer three hours at the local 12-Step office, took a walk with my sponsor, and went to my regular 12-Step meetings. Muri and I took in an afternoon movie, Gone Girl, and had lunch at the Corner Bakery. But I’m still not back. Sitting here in the kitchen, posting, there’s evidence. The two ceiling lights out in the kitchen that Muri pointed out to me … and which I said I’d replace … are still out and in the backyard, the birdfeeders are empty. They’ve been empty so long, the birds have given up on me. Fear not, jays, finches and towhees. I’ll get there. I think I hear the cyclamen in the yard asking for a drink.
You’ve probably heard someone in a similar situation, returning from a vacation or other break from life’s routines, say, I guess it’s back to The Real World. I used to say that until a met an older gent named Larry at my Thursday Night Men’s Meeting. Larry was a patriarch of the group and at our biannual retreat (which is coming up in a week, by the way), liked to be the last speaker at the last meeting. By that time, it was fairly certain at least one person had said, I guess it’s back to The Real World. Larry liked to say that we should try to keep the spirit of the retreat with us as long as possible. But he also said, This is The Real World, too. Larry passed away several years, but in his memory, I want to remember that our nearly two weeks in the Mediterranean are part of our Real World, too. Larry never said it this way, but I think what he meant was that excluding our best of times from our notion of The Real World is a glass-is-half-empty kind of habit. So, here are a few photos from our vacation, taken in Rome. I’ll be posting a few more from other places in our Real World Vacation as the week goes by. Have a great weekend.