Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A bit of everything and nothing

Most often my visits to California are packed full long before I even board the plane in Amsterdam. My agenda is full of dates with various friends and commitments with my family. And given the short time we give such visits, we usually cram as much as we can into ten short days. Anyone who lives far from family and has to make visits like mine know that such a trip is no vacation. Everyone is pulling to see you, and once is never enough. When it comes to my (long divorced) parents, it is almost as if it is being kept track of, carefully tallied how many minutes each one gets to see me. To my mom, simply staying in her home - eating dinner together, seeing eachother every morning after waking - is not enough, we must do something - go out - for it to be considered tallied time. And to my dad, time can only be spent while trekking along muddy poison oak infested trails even though no one but him enjoys it.

This trip I decided would be different. Since Mr. P was staying at home and I am no longer working for the establishment, I did not have to pay mind to vacation days and limit my stay. I chose to stay for 3 weekends, about as long as I could imagine being without Mr. P, and he could bear being away from Pumpkin. I also made no plans, wrote nothing into my agenda before my arrival. I am taking it easy, figuring I will always disappoint someone who wants to see me more anyways, so why make myself crazy trying to divide my time between everyone with no thought to myself? One thing a day, one commitment at most. Pumpkin naps in her bed as often as possible, and we plan visits around her schedule. I am also trying to limit how my parents manipulate me, make me feel guilty over what I do with the other, and what I may not want to do at all. So far it is working. The hardest was putting my foot down with my father and avoiding a 1 hour drive followed by a long hike just to have a picnic, while there was a perfectly good park 10 minutes away. But I did it, and I am taking it easy. It may not be a vacation, but it does not mean I should not enjoy myself just a bit...

PS - I have been working my way through my sisters book collection and just finished My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. If you want a good book pick this one up - trust me you will not be able to put it down, I sure couldn't. It is a real tear jerker though so have a box of tissues handy when reading.

posted by Laura @ 11:05 PM   6 comments