Monday, March 31, 2008

Spleen For Sale

I have a problem. I am home now from my much-anticipated London/Paris trip, and now I am...restless? I’m not really sure what I feel. I’m very happy to hold my kids again and excited to tell Austin all about the Easter Matins at St. Paul’s. But I’m also ho-hum and blah blah blah in that way that reminds me of coming home from summer camp when I was younger.

You know you can’t have that rush all the time. But still, you want it. WHY?!

Life must go on as normal, and we cannot always stop the day’s doings for a pot of tea. But visions of teapots come floating unbidden into your mind when you are trying to comb Sabra’s crazy cotton candy hair or making an appointment to see the Pediatrician who is backed up until November of 2009.

I came home begging Austin to please please please move to Oxford and could we please please please do it now?

I know that people in Oxford still have mortgages and relationship problems and lactose intolerance. I’m not under some delusion that the place emanates a golden glow and cures cancer.

But I cannot help but want the laid back and lovely life that was mine for 8 whole glorious days.

I’m longing for the food, I’m longing for the rest, I’m longing for the solitude and yet the business of a cram-packed trip where I have little money and tons of laughs.

Can I be addicted to Vacation? Is that even a possibility?

People get addicted to all kinds of things. We know of the ones that Baptist preachers like to talk about : sex, drugs, power.

I’ve never really had an issue with those types of addictions. I know that many people do, and I’m not making light of their struggles. But my addictions have so far been on a different plane.

At the root of it, all addictions come from the same needs. The needs just manifest themselves differently according to our personalities and access to funds. I cannot really feel smug that I’m not addicted to buying Porches because that is just not an option for me right now. I still have my hang-ups and hurdles that I wrestle with every day. And to make it more difficult, most of my addictions are things that in and of themselves are perfectly safe. That is what makes the line of ’enjoyment’ and ’addiction’ so very razor thin and precarious.

I’m addicted to tea in the way that most people are addicted to coffee. It is my morning ’wake up call’ and my mid-afternoon ’pick me up’. It may or may not have anything to do with the caffeine. Something about the sweet creamy goodness that is tea soothes me and makes me feel safe. It is the liquid form of a lullaby. Black tea plus cream and a little too much sugar makes the world feel complete. And on those days where even tea cannot form the glue to make it all complete, it tells me in its own warm way that all will be well.

I’m addicted to sugar. Yes, I know all of the unhealthy things about sugar that should make me want to quit. But when I throw all of the sugar in my pantry into the trash can, bad things happen. I go for a few hours or sometimes even a few days feeling physically and morally superior that I have overcome this sugary weakness. And then nighttime hits and the kids are asleep and I’m feeling slightly hormonal....I mean nostalgic....and I NEED SUGAR. So I eat a piece of fruit. Bwahaha. This is not sugar. So I try some yogurt. Feeling full but not in any way satisfied, I keep looking. All of a sudden those ’refuse candies’ from the kids’ Valentine’s Day boxes call to me from their heretofore forgotten residence of Under The Bed, Sabra’s Room. Slightly waxy foil-wrapped Krispy Kupids are looking like a big ol’ hunk of Godiva. Drool.....

I am addicted to cranial drama. I might be coining a new phrase here, and it might not even be the correct way to say it. I’m not addicted to real drama. I like my friends and family and even odd acquaintances to be happy and balanced and otherwise drama-free. Unless it is really good or has a superb actor, (Jonathan Rhys-Myers) I am not even interested in cinematic drama. I have enough to worry about without feeling sad for fictitious characters. If the story does not end well, I worry about their fake lives and how their fake children will have enough fake money to buy fake bread. my head....I create drama all of the time. I call this ’realistic planning’. It drives Austin crazy. I create interesting circumstances in which people die or are mauled by roaming buffalo or find out that they are the long-lost son of Rasputin. I have participated in cranial drama these 26 years. I don’t know why. Creativity? Perhaps. Craziness? Likely. But if I have already assumed and/or planned for the worst, then nothing will catch me off guard. It allows me to pull on the puppet strings a bit. It soothes me and gives me a false sense of control. After all, do you know what you would do if a stray buffalo ran off with your daughter’s arm? I do.

So now the point of my rambling today: I am addicted to vacation. I never knew it to be so until I returned from and mourned my London Trip. Part of this is normal, I know. We all wish we could be sitting on a beach with a frosty glass and jiggle-free thighs. But we can’t. Alas, it is not to be. At least, not the part about the thighs.

But I’m really starting to sink here. I have no money left, no vacation time (I’m hourly), and yet I’m looking into selling my spleen on Craig’s List so that I might go forth again and taste the glories of Europe or at least Florida. In a way, Vacation is a controlled substance. It is somewhat the equivalent of having just one glass. You wait all year long to get to a place where you can unwind and relax...just a little bit. Nothing crazy, no repeats of Spring Break 2001 where you got that crazy tattoo of a pelican tap dancing on a rainbow. But just enough to remember why you do what you do and you are who you are. This relaxation could occur, I’m sure, for someone who is better in touch with their spiritual/mental/chakra-ed self. But I worry and I fuss and I think and I plan and I just have a hard time letting go and enjoying the beautiful life that is sitting beside me.

I really would like to be different; I would much prefer a more cost-effective way of relaxing and rejuvenating. I used to have small mini-retreats in which a hot bath, a good book and some yogurt (ha!) would provide me with the needed focus. My mind isn’t being tricked into it right now.

"No!" it says, "I need a cuppa tea and a stroll around an old building! You cannot feed me Krispy Kupids once I have tasted Godiva!"

I’m trying to argue with and otherwise retrain my brain. I’m telling it that Godiva will come along, but sometimes waxy, foil-wrapped retreats are all that is coming our way. I’m sure I’ll return to normal soon. I have to, right?

Until then, do you know anyone who needs a spleen?

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