Home Again

It’s been just about 50 hours since I returned home following 18 days on the road. In many ways I’m glad to be back (my own stuff, full kitchen, the dogs) but I’m also feeling unsettled.

A lot of big things shifted while I was gone including decisions I needed to make, plans that began and even my birthday.

I turned 29 last week and am surprisingly not freaked out. Much. I think in the year since JT died I’ve learned that growing old is a blessing denied to many so I’ll accumulate my years and not worry about them.

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While traveling I discovered that I really missed time at the gym with a regular routine. Doing ab work and squats in my rented apartment just wasn’t the same. Not even the hotel gyms were all that great.

I still adore walking on the beach, playing in the waves (dodging jellyfish) and lying in the sand. My backside is tan thanks to a gallon of aloe vera I poured on to keep from peeling.

Yes, I took sunscreen with me. Yes, I stubbornly refused to put it on.

*

During my trip I read 2 books, one technically I finished last night. The first was a Kindle book The Templar Knights following a former CIA type in the same style as the Dan Brown/DiVinci Code books. It was fun fluff. The second book was a gift from the author Eric Holtzclaw about understanding consumer behavior called Laddering.

While it held fascinating insights for business, I was reading it on one of my flights and had to put it away because it made me a little sad. From page 57:

“As we move even further into a relationship-based society, we have to consider the following: Why would consumers think you care if you are not willing to sit down with them in their environments and truly understand who they are and what they want? Compare this with the process of buying a present for someone for his or her birthday or a holiday. The best gifts always come from a true understanding of what’s important, dear, and core to the receiver. The consumer who is spending money with your company deserves and expects the same level of respect and understanding.”

What made me so sad about that passage was knowing that I put a lot of time and effort into the gifts I give. If I don’t really know you or like you then you might get a card but most likely nothing. And every year for holidays and my birthday I hear “but you didn’t give me a list” as an excuse. Well, at 29 I’m taking a stand.

There will be no more lists.

If the people in my life don’t have a true understanding of who I am and what I want then please, save your time and don’t get me anything.

*

I’m going to the farmer’s market today, to restock on groceries before I end up eating out every meal. My plan for the weekend is to make Lentil soup, tikka masala and maybe even prep the chicken for crispy tacos.

In some ways I’m glad to have the weekend to recover but also sad we’re not doing the backyard party I’d planned when I finished the backyard. Truthfully, the grass looks like shit and I’ll need to spend some time fertilizing and seeding it before winter really hits if I don’t want a house surrounded by mud holes.

The leaves are still falling in droves so at some point I’ll round them up with the leaf blower and tidy up the sideyard and front porch. I hope I can enjoy my chairs and new pillows outdoors before the rain begins.

At least I’ll have plenty of indoor projects this winter including my foot chest painting project, grouting the tiles in both bathrooms and sorting 100 years worth of family photos for archiving. Not to mention I’d like to finally scan and shred 90% of the papers in my house!

So, it’s good to be home.

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