I’ve had a lot of people ask me, “So how was your trip?” I’ve given the expected pleasantry, “Oh, it was great!” But, for record’s sake I wanted to sum up our Pocatello experience, because I learned some important lessons. I’ll go ahead and do this bullet-point style.
- Long car trips are entirely doable. Especially if you rely heavily on the ipad and a bit of caffeine. For the longest time I said I couldn’t do long trips. I have a history of drowsy driving. I really consider it a miracle I’ve never crashed. So the thought of driving nine hours was really intimidating to me. But I did it, and it wasn’t that big of deal. I did have to utilize some caffeine near the end. But that’s what drugs are for. I had this ongoing battle with myself about how much ipad, was too much ipad. I’d get all worried that letting Scotland watch six hours of TV was going to do- I don’t know what, but surely something bad? But when he wasn’t on the pad, because I hadn’t done a good job of providing alternatives, he would just poke at his brother, which resulted in a lot of loud screaming, which resulted in two stressed out parents. Finally, Tom looked at me, when I was getting really exasperated, and said “I’d just let him play on the ipad.” It was only an issue when we drove in the truck because they have to be right next to each other. . . anyway, still trying to figure that one out. I just couldn’t get the line from “Last Child in the Woods” out of my head What happened to the days when children looked out the window and imagined.
- You can totally take a hiatus from life. It felt really strange to leave our friends, callings, work, home, and yard. But we did it. And it wasn’t that big of deal. Granted we have a pretty simple life, our kids aren’t in many activities yet, we’re not heavily involved with things. It’s just always therapeutic to realize: I have choice! I don’t have to do anything. (Not that you can choose the consequences. . . that’s another post.)
- I love my family. I spent the majority of my time traveling to see family: Tom’s folks and sister, my two sisters, my brother, and my grandparents. It was wonderful to be with them in a less structured less stressful environment (than say family reunions.) I’ve always preferred solo visits to my siblings, I just get more quality time. Scotland was in heaven to have a constant playmate- he said at one point. “What’s even better than a friend? A cousin!”
- While I wish Tom’s commute wasn’t as long, I wouldn’t sacrifice our yard and spacious house for it. We lived less than five minutes from the hospital in Pocatello. We loved having Tom home for lunch, and getting to see more of him in the morning- and have his help at dinner. But my boys were stir crazy in our small apartment. It was nice to reaffirm our decision to live where we do.
- I love a yard. I really missed my yard while we were there. Part of it was just the time of year. Knowing that I could be planting peas back in Seattle. But I just missed working the earth, and seeing everything bud out. There is something special about your own daffodils blooming.
- I’m happier when I have more people in my life. I’m content at home. I consider myself a home body. I don’t crave sociality the way some do, but, I’m happier when I’m more social. Because I was with family much of the time, I was with many more people than I normally am, and I really thrived on it. I was determined to be more social when I got back, but I quickly fell back into old trends- prioritizing projects over people. We had a wonderful picnic and playground play with our friends, the Hulets yesterday and it was SO refreshing. The day before we had a picnic with our Joy school friends and I came home so buoyant. Life is about people.
- I love the temple. I visited several temples and got to attend the Logan temple while I was there. I just feel immense happiness when I attend the temple.
- Tom’s an incredibly supportive husband. I’m very lucky. He would have preferred us to stay in Pocatello so he could see the boys and get a break from work. But he fully supported, even encouraged me to take these two months to go and do. I love him, and feel such gratitude for the help meet that he is.