Too many late nights, too much excitement, too much good food. So much freedom and creative work*. So little duty and responsibility.
Full up with other people's stories and creativity. With their cooking and ideas and jokes and laughter. With their sdnesses and complications. With reflections that company brings. Visions of myself reflected back by others, different views of myself.
On the upside there's usually (in my house at least) a warm meal waiting on return, some very excited family members throwing themselves at me with declarations of undying love, and much admiration of the outcomes of my labours. The admiration is often directly proportional to the presents quotient, but it's admiration nevertheless.
My work colleagues have come to recognise the first Monday back - a few were waiting to see the coat (they'd seen the fabric and buttons stashed under my desk when I bought it), and instantly spotted both the new skirt and shirt. Compliments were in abundant supply and had me feeling totally up myself (like I hadn't been ever since getting dressed in all that handmade clobber). I was a total show off.
This time Monday also coincided with onset of an evil sore throat and chest cold (they waiting room for an appointment with asthma), and the departure of the bloke for work in the opposite corner of the continent. He's due back Friday but was already broadcasting the likelihood of blowing that timeline before he'd even left (something about hitting rock when digging foundations). Let's just hope he makes it back before he's due to go again in three weeks time for his big two week build.
All this coming and going, it's pretty much a way of life for us but it never feels normal to me. Whether I'm the one coming and going, or the one staying behind I don't think I deal with it all with the kind of ease I'd like. I don't sleep so well - when I'm away or when I'm at home solo parenting - and I find it hard to bridge the over there and here. Add in sickness and really, I'm pretty much useless right now.