I'm not home. But I kind of am. My parents, sister, and I hit the road last night after I got off from school and drove to my brother's house in Virginia. I'm not sitting in the living room with a steaming cup of coffee writing this. But I am sitting on the bench of a dining table at which I've shared many a meal with loved ones. And I have a steaming cup of coffee.
My view is not my usual, but it's a familiar one that I have grown to love. Out the windows behind me, I can see deep woods. If I were to open the door, I know I would hear the rush of a river down the hill. To the left, I look out over a fenced pasture. Though I don't see them, I'm confident a few horses will wander by soon. Lying on the floor nearby is Mister, a dog my niece found in a dumpster. Almost certainly having somehow outlived his usefulness as a training dog for dog fighters, he had been left to die. As a result of his rescue, he may be the most affectionate dog in the history of ever. On the other side of the room sleeps my brother. The house is so full of guests that he's sleeping in a recliner in the living room. Though at the moment my coffee cup is empty, my contentment cup is full.
I may be an oddball when it comes to travel. As I've gotten older, I've become slightly more reticent to leave on trips. They just seem like too much work, too much disruption of my routine. But once I get myself to go, I'm glad I did. This time away from home will charge my batteries and get my creativity flowing. I'll inevitably have some event or scene that will end up in a story or a book sometime. And even if that doesn't turn out to be true, I'll go home with brighter soul.
I know all this to be true before I leave, yet I try to talk myself out of going anyway. Why is that? I never used to be this way. I loved going new places and experiencing new things. But as I've aged, I've begun to see the work more than the fun. And that's a shame. One bonus to taking up this writing career is that I've had no choice but to travel from time to time. I have events in at least four different places over the summer and fall, places I probably wouldn't have ended up going on my own. And I think that traveling is like developing any other skill--the more I practice, the better at it I get.
|From a Recent Family Trip|
So what is it that you used to love that's lost its joy because you see the work instead of the fun? Maybe you should revisit it. See it with new eyes. You may find that it's even better than you remember.