Well, I’m back to work today after a lovely five days in Tampa visiting my husband and furry children. For the most part it was blissful. The days Dean had to work I slept late with the cats sprawled out on the bed, read, watched the Twins give the White Sox a serious beating twice in one day, and basically just reveled in again being with my own “stuff”. I also cried. A lot. So much that I was beginning to worry about the state of my emotional health. But when I thought about it some, I realized I was crying not so much out of despair and anguish but for release.
For the first time in eight weeks, I was all alone with the one person I can really truly be myself around. I just let it all go. I let go of all the frustration of this summer not being what I thought it would. I dropped the façade that I didn’t realize I had put on for everyone- even myself. I cried out of relief that Dean and I were on the same page about this time away making our relationship stronger and what endless possibilities awaited my return. I cried out of joy that my kitties chose not to ignore me the whole time but resumed life as if nothing had happened and I cried that I have to leave them again for almost the same amount of time.
I also cried because I turned 28 yesterday. And more than turning 28, I was upset that I had to spend the day on an airplane, saying good-bye again and that like everything else, our annual Birthday Beach Trip was put on hold until the end of August. Every year Dean takes me to a different beach for a weekend getaway of sunning, swimming, relaxing and drinking. This year, I opted to spend my precious time at home with the cats and defer my Birthday Beach Trip to "after I’m back" - that nebulous, seemingly unachievable destination. So even though Dean brought me breakfast in bed with a tear-jerking card (anything would have done it at this point) and some chocolates (because I wouldn't be able to enjoy the usual bouquet of flowers), my birthday was bound to suck.
I had booked an early afternoon flight back to Minneapolis (depart Tampa 2pm, arrive 4 pm) so that we could have a leisurely (if not melancholy) morning and I could still have a nice supper with Dad, Stepmom and Stepsis. The Minneapolis weather had other plans, and shortly before our final decent into the Twin Cities a storm swept through and forced us to redirect into Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Sitting on the ground, in the plane with (understandably) impatient children for four hours was not how I anticipated spending yesterday. I knew my birthday wouldn’t be as good as some years, but I had no idea it could be quite so sucky. When the Twin Cities airport finally resumed accepting flights, it took forever to get luggage and the place was a madhouse so I didn’t get back to Dad’s until after 9. Thankfully, dinner was made and I did get to enjoy my fried chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, sautéed green beans and made-from-scratch cornbread. But afterwards it was straight to bed to recover and get back to reality. So that’s where I sit. Once again, counting days (24) until Dean’s next visit, and weeks (7) until I get to go home for good.