Just This

Home for the Holidays

For the first time since 2011, this holiday season I didn’t have to travel across the country to spend these special days with the ones I love. And that’s…weird.

Good weird, of course. Mostly.

I guess in the past few years I’ve become accustomed to carving out a few days, maybe a week, to cram in as much friends and family time as I can muster, renting a car from the airport and bouncing around the city – the state – like a ping-pong ball fitting in visits that won’t come around again for another 12 months.

So this new-found accessibility, this concept that my people really are just a stone’s throw away, day in and day out…well, I’m still getting used to it.

I rented a car for Christmas so I could get to my mom’s place of my own accord (no train gets out to the cornfields they call home). Only I didn’t think to check in on tangential plans for the weekend, so I only kept the car for a day, sending me back to my place in the city a full 36 hours before the rest of my crew was done toasting the holiday. To say I felt like I missed out would be an understatement.

On the flipside, I have been craving a serious hibernation something fierce this last month. As I became used to fitting is as much quality time as I could on my visits home, I became equally used to lots of time on my own, creating my own projects and adventures and, if the mood hit me, removing myself completely for a time while I hit the mental reset button.

Turns out I haven’t quite recalibrated my extrovert/introvert settings to being home again, and it’s had me in a state as I’m overwhelmed at the ease with which I can surround myself with the people most important to me and feeling starved for what I can only selfishly call “me time” where I don’t even have to leave my apartment if I don’t want to.

I’m getting there, though. Recognizing this ache for time on my own, I chose to embrace the quiet second half of my holiday weekend. Sure, I could’ve been at an old friend’s house drinking and laughing with friends I’ve known since high school – and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t suck to miss it because of my poor car-rental choices. But in embracing that time as the much-needed retreat I needed, I’m getting back on track as the last few days of 2015 wind down.

In the coming days, I’ve got my typical year-end posts planned as I recount the books, shows and films I took in this year. I’ve got links to share and Chicago adventures to recount, too. And if I decide to carve out a bit more time for myself around NYE festivities and getting back into a work/life routine post-holidays, I may just do some dreaming on this space of what 2016 might look like for me, too.