Sunday, October 10, 2010

Home For A Weekend - Lessons Learned

Thanksgiving weekend is officially over. Friends, I hope you all had a fantastic long weekend. I certainly did. It hadn't dawned on me how much I dearly missed my friends, my family, my home, my car (!!!) until I actually came home for the weekend. It was a wonderful time away from Kingston, spent with a number of people I love and missed. And, upon reflection, I don't regret eating those six slices of pumpkin pie and, really, who knows how many slices of turkey and ham. No regrets, friends. Only a satisfied stomach on the verge of explosion.

After a weekend home, I've come up with several observations that will probably be useful for those of us who are away from home for extended periods of time. Or, rather, let`s deem these observations as Lessons Learned, ideas to think about the next time we go home for a weekend. Because really, you never realize how much things have changed until you leave.

When you visit home, don't be surprised when...

LESSON 1) Don't be surprised when you do absolutely no work at home. As I sit here writing this post, I'm staring in bewilderment at the pile of readings I planned to do but didn't. I boarded that Megabus on Friday morning with such expectations of long weekend productivity, lugging my laptop, readings, and books onto the bus with absolute determination. After lugging all my work two hundred kilometres home for the weekend, how much work did I do? None.

LESSON 2) Don't be surprised when you come home, one month after moving to Kingston, and find that everything in your city changed. Everything. These aren`t mere exaggerations, friends. Heading home, I stopped in bewilderment more than a few times, pausing in confusion at blocks of construction inside Eaton Centre, at the new Indigo bookstore and Starbucks standing two blocks away from my house (when did that get there? That definitely wasn`t there when I left), at rows and rows of new houses suddenly built in my neighbourhood (that wasn`t there when I left either!). You get the point. I`ve only been gone for a month. How did all this happen while I was gone? How was all that built while I was gone? Shocking questions, these.

LESSON 3) Don't be surprised when you come home, see your car, and be overcome with pangs of emotion at the sight of your precious vehicle. Dear car, you have no idea how much I missed driving you.

LESSON 4) Don't be surprised when you come home and the kids you teach in Sunday school are suddenly two feet taller compared to when you last saw them. You stare in surprise, shocked at how grown-up they look. It's the Wheaties at work, I'm telling you.

LESSON 5) Don't be surprised when you come home and the most exciting, celebrity-related events happened in Mississauga while you were gone. Apparently, two weeks ago, Mia Michaels was at my church. Yes. Let's re-read that sentence one more time. Two weeks ago, Mia Michaels was at my church. Let me backtrack and explain. One Sunday over the summer, in early July, as I stepped on the stage towards the piano and obliviously played our Sunday morning worship set, I was bombarded by my fellow worship team when we finished, everyone whispering-but-not-really-whispering that Blake McGrath, contestant on Season 1 of So You Think You Can Dance was sitting in the congregation. And as summer went on, every Sunday, as I played the piano, I looked towards the crowd and never failed to spot Blake McGrath, sitting a few aisles away from my parents. Really, it was the closest I`d ever been to a celebrity. Well, friends, as I sat in Kingston two weeks ago, miles away from home, no longer a regular member of Harvest Family Church's worship band, Emmy-award winning choreographer Mia Michaels, a judge on So You Think You Can Dance, came to our 11:00 AM service with Blake McGrath. Seriously. I'm in shock. Why am I in Kingston? Why did I, the biggest So You Think You Can Dance junkie alive, miss this?

LESSON 6) Don't be surprised when you come home and realize how much you missed your dearest friends. And normal activities like spending hours at a local buffet, watching trainwreck chick flicks like Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, meeting up for lunch dates at guilty pleasure fast food haunts, shopping at the usual stores, and picking up slushies at your local Petro Canada are more than satisfying. Dear friends, I truly missed you and I`m so glad I was able to see some of you this weekend!

LESSON 7) Don`t be surprised when you`ll stop starving at the mere bite of your mother`s cooking. Because really, even though your month of independence has forced you to learn how to cook some pretty awesome meals, nothing can compare to the taste of a homecooked meal (that isn`t yours).

It was an incredibly awesome weekend. And as I sit here on the last evening of this long weekend, the reality of my busy week ahead is starting to dawn on me. The fabulous long weekend is over. It`s time to get back to work, friends. Back to work, indeed.

"He is the happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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