Wednesday, April 24, 2024

On Pauses

One of the unintentional impacts of my recent trip to Turkey was that it served as a very hard pause to life.

Part of that is expected, of course:  when one leaves the country (especially for vacation), one finds that one's interest in following the news of the day dwindles to naught.  One aspect of this is simply that one becomes overly busy, especially on a tour like we went on:  we were on the road by 0800 almost every morning and did not stop until 1800 in the evening, when we had to arrive and eat and prepare for the next day, including getting our suitcases out by 0700 or 0715.  Add to that a half-hearted wifi system on the bus, and the time and energy to connect is almost not worth it.

The other part, of course, is simply that one is on vacation.  The end may come during that time, but I suppose I would just as soon prefer to be surprised about it in that case.  At least I could enjoy my last few moments in peace, bereft of any concern about what is coming.

The pause that I did not anticipate was the break in my life it demonstrated.

Even though I returned to New Home and then we flew out from there, my time in situ was perhaps 30 hours in all from the time I arrived the Friday for until we left on Saturday and the time we arrived home two weeks later until I flew out the following Sunday.  I had enough time to pack, pet the animals, pack up a few items for the move, and then leave.

It was not so much returning home so much as it was a stopover.

I need that, now.  The whole nature of the move to New Home 2.0 still seems a bit unreal to me, something that is neither here nor their.  In a way, it is an extension of my vacation:  by the time all is said and done, I will have been living out of a hotel room for essentially 6 weeks.  And I am still in that odd phase of any new job that one knows too little to contribute but more than someone walking in the door.

The pause was simply that reminder that, for better or worse, this is home now.

The overall move continues to grind forward.  The car was picked up for transport today and is expected to arrive next week.  The first meeting with the moving company is next week as well; more decisions have been made about what is to be moved.  After this Saturday, I will be ensconced in somewhere to actually call home for a while.  Having talked with my friend the Shelter Director, it sounds as if we have a plan for bringing the rabbits here.

In other words, there really is no "going home".  This is home.

How often will I return between now and the end of the year?  It is hard to say at this point; given what I know of my schedule now, it will likely not be more than a handful of times, and after the end of the year and The Ravishing Mrs. TB's relocation here, perhaps even less. It is not so much the cost as it is the time there and back again.

The hard pause of the vacation brought this all home.

Perhaps sometimes this is exactly why we need such pauses, not so much that we need the break in terms of relaxation or disconnection but rather that we need the Break:  the indicator that our past life really is in the past and that the new one is here, perhaps whether we are ready for it or not.


  1. I am like you pretty much when on vacation. I am content to leave everything current events wise behind and just soak up the moment of where I am at. We had a television in our suite in Greece and it was rarely on. Of course it helped that all but one channel were in a language I couldn't understand. But even then, I'm content to let the world pass me by for the duration of the vacation and then spend a day or so when I return getting the cliff notes version of what I missed. Usually I'm left with an overwhelming sense that nothing really changed much in my absence, and that usually applies to both current events and my office work.

    1. "Nothing really changed much in my absence" - that about sums it is up, Ed. Different flavors of the same issues - at least my vacation remains undisturbed.

  2. Hard pauses aren't a bad thing. We can use those to reevaluate our lives... like methods, habits, etc. Living with intention as opposed to just existing.

    You have very accurately described my state. I am working to move to a very small place as an interim. The slab for the shop was poured last week. I have 5 weeks to finish the move out. I feel like I have no home, as the new place isn't ready for prime time yet. New neighbors moved in and I do not trust them. That is another impetus to get the lead out and move along... (I know them, and they are not trustworthy).
    My blog reading and news reading have been pared down to essentials. I have no time for just sitting and reading anymore. Every minute needs to be utilized, not just lived.

    1. STxAR, I understand the feeling of no home. I will have spent the last six weeks living out of suitcases and in a hotel. And even when I get the apartment this Saturday, I will have nothing but the contents of two suitcases to live in it until the move is completed.

      You sound like you have a lot on your plate. Remember to be kind to yourself in the midst of your efforts.

  3. Sounds like this was just the thing. Major changes often feel surreal for quite a while, but eventually a new reality settles in. Switching mental gears is the key (to me).

    1. I think it was, Leigh. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to come back from vacation and then start the new job from scratch.

      The mental gear shifting is harder than I anticipated. It is a very apt metaphor.


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