I’m all about inspiration on my blog, and for that reason I think it is largely a positive place. It’s also easy to be positive when you are writing about what you love and in general, I love traveling with my kids.
But here is my truth at the start of this week: It’s hard for me to have a dream at the moment. Since my father died in December, I’ve found it hard to look forward. Planning is a challenge and too often of late when faced with a choice of a great weekend outing with the kids, I’ve defaulted to making play date plans for them or letting them hang out and play the Wii. My list of New Year’s travel resolutions remains largely untouched, and here it is the middle of March. I’ve done some half-hearted planning for spring break and have our vacation dates blocked out for this summer, but that’s about it.
As I’ve made clear on many occasions, to me travel is as much a state of mind as it is the action of going somewhere. It’s thinking about the world and engaging with it, whether by taking a long plane ride or visiting that new museum up the block. With that as my definition, it follows that the opposite of travel is inertia. And (not to sound too much like my high school chemistry teacher) I’ve been feeling inert more often than not lately. This makes it hard to even imagine what we might do or where we might go.
The reason I share this is not to look for sympathy but because I figure this is a very real part of the traveling parent equation for all of us. There will always be times when we hunker down, when planning even daytrips feels like a challenge. And while I definitely feel it’s OK to go through periods like this, it’s also good to be aware of them. Because the fact is, it’s all too easy for this to become habit, especially as our children grow up and are in school full time and get involved in activities as mine have. It takes agency to be a traveling parent. It takes action.
Yesterday I was out taking photos in the beautiful yard of our 17th-century church while Tommy had choir practice (hence the picture above). It was warmer than it has been and sunny and the air was full of the promise of spring. I could see buds on all the trees and I realized that next Saturday there are no Little League practices or swim lessons. Matt will be out of town for work, but the boys and I have a clean slate to color on in any way we like. And instead of feeling heavy or hopeless about this fact, I actually started to toss around some ideas in my mind. Skiing? Valley Forge perhaps? Or maybe a drive down to the beach?
So I guess I do have a dream after all – gradually, gently re-opening myself to that world around me. The nice thing is that it’s still there, just waiting.
What’s your Monday Dream? Feel free to share your link below.