Fly first class. Why? I have no idea. Perhaps the fine airline folks are confused. I know I was, when I realized my boarding pass put me in the very first row. My confusion quickly dissipated as I stretched out my legs and enjoyed my pre-flight beverage in an actual glass. I deserve this as much as the businessman next to me, I reasoned. Maybe moreso.
Read a schlock novel. Why? Because that’s what you do on an airplane. Work, schmerk. For being stuffed into a gigantic flying canister of circulating cold germs for several hours, you deserve a book that you wouldn’t be caught dead reading, otherwise. Besides, it’ll take your mind away for a while. While the plane is in the air, you are not yet obligated to return to reality.
Breathe deeply while waiting for the parking shuttle. Why? Because the air smells different here. Familiar. And it smells a lot better than the air on the plane or in the airport.
Devise a mental list of preparation for the coming week. Why? Because that’s returning to reality, while not focusing on the silence of your empty car or the time that stretches in front of you until the next vacation. Because turning your mind back to your kids and your job and the other things you love here might stop you from feeling that little bit of emptiness that only that which you left behind can fill.
Grab the mail and head into the dark house. Why? Because you’re home. That bundle of envelopes and catalogs and newsletters holds pieces of your life. Maybe you don’t need to open them right away. But later; later you’ll pay bills and toss junk and get back into the routine of being here.
Haul your suitcase upstairs and unpack. Why? Because if you don’t do it now, it’ll sit there for another month. It won’t take that long. Really. Realize that you can smell lingering reminders in that suitcase. Lift out the worn clothes and breathe it all in for a minute.
Close your eyes. Why?
Because the mixture of cologne and perfume on that sweater evokes that long, cobbled walkway and dodging the puddles with hands intertwined.
Because those jeans now studded with short hairs are a testimony to how therapeutic it can be to get down on the floor and growl and wrestle.
Because those jammies that smell of different detergent, now, remind you of falling asleep without realizing it, and waking up with no need at all to do anything.
Because the hint of garlic on that shirt brings back setting down the wine glasses to dance into the kitchen.
Because savoring the miracle makes returning to the mundane bearable.