Going home. After thirty days away. Living in a hotel that’s comfortable and clean, with nice people working at the desk. But it isn’t my bed. My desk. My couch. In a city with rolling hills, warm temperatures, and people speaking in a soft drawl that reminds me. I’m not home. Every morning, getting behind the wheel of a 2017 model car with a nice stereo and great gas mileage. But that isn’t mine either. Getting dressed and going to work every morning in an office building that’s a 45 minute drive away from my hotel. I haven’t had a commute in ten years. But it is good work. Important work. Helping people put their lives back together. And I like it. And I like the people I work with. A lot. People who are willing to be away from home for a month, two, three, six, nine. To do the work that needs to be done. And come back time and again.
And tomorrow, I’m going home. Back to my bed. My couch. My kitchen. My family. My dog Lucy. My cat Luna. I get to go home to the routine of my life. Where my commute is to get up from the bedroom and head down the hall to the kitchen, otherwise known as my “office.” Where I spend most days on the computer, on the phone, writing, reading, researching. Yes, I leave the house some days. To go to court, to a board meeting, to meet a friend for lunch or dinner, to visit my family, to dance rehearsal. But when I stay in the house to work? My work clothes are usually yoga pants and a sweatshirt.
When I leave the house, I drive a ten year old car that gets me where I need to go, but I can’t say how much longer that will be true.
And there’s my dog Lucy and cat Luna. When I’ve been away for a long time and I get home, both of them compete to see who can get closer to me. I get in bed, Luna presses up against the left side, Lucy on the right or across my feet. Can’t even describe how good it feels to have their two warm furry bodies pressed against me.
It takes a while for my friends to realize I’m home again. They get so used to me being away. It takes time to get included in the social circle again, to be included in plans, to be invited out. But after a week, maybe two, I slide back into the old routines and it is as if I was never gone.
But I’m not the same me that I was. I’ve seen things. People’s lives changed, drastically, dramatically. Never to be the same. Everything they’ve worked for, saved for, hoped for, dreamed of, gone. Just like that. And we are there to maybe get them back a little of what they lost. To help them start over. And then I go home.