Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Re-entry into the real world is tough

This was the view from our hotel room three nights ago, the culmination of three weeks of vacation which were almost a year in the planning.  Yes, it was pretty wonderful;  we loved both New Zealand and Australia.  Vacations have to be pretty wonderful as you work like a dog before you go, and work like a dog to catch up when you get back.

Sixteen hours of flight time, five loads of laundry, and a two-foot-high stack of mail later, I've got both feet back in the real world.  Kind of.  I still want to go to sleep and wake up at odd times but at least I finally have my calendar on the right date instead of a day ahead. 

Which brings me to today:  it's the beginning of Lent.  How did that slip up on me?  I have usually given some thought as to what I'll give up so it's a meaningful sacrifice, but not this time.  After three weeks of total vacation indulgence I feel I should give up just about everything, but I'm going to go for my old stand-by of giving up all sweets.  It's going to really hurt this time, because it's going to halt some very productive research work I was conducting before I went on vacation: trying all variations of the Ultimate Killer Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  I found the basic recipe, attributed to a famous New York restaurant, just before Christmas, and both my husband and I found it addictive.  Highly addictive.  I mean fight-for-the-last-cookie addictive.  I'm pausing my scientific study for now but I'll tell you that I found the secret of adding the wonderful flavor of nuts without the crunchy texture that some object to, plus how to maximize the chocolate flavor in every bite.  Stay tuned.  This is good stuff.  Alert the Discovery Channel that I'll be ready for a special series when my research recommences after Easter.

A friend challenged me to add one positive change over Lent, in addition to one sacrificial change, so I am still mulling that one over.  One of the things I realized again over the last year is that every positive change you make leads to another positive change, so I love the concept.  Ideas?  I find myself coming back to something our minister talked about recently:  pruning.  Prune back nice but less important things so you have time to focus on the truly important.  Surely that's two steps in the right direction! 

Thanks to all for the congrats on beating cancer and being in the clear just one year after my lymphoma diagnosis.  Thanks in particular go to my prayer warriors:  you made all the difference.  Please keep my friend Mike in your prayers for the next few months;  he's started his chemo treatments but he's had to have several blood transfusions already. 

It makes me realize that the "real world" I'm re-entering after vacation is really pretty wonderful.  Even if it doesn't come with breakfast in bed the way that vacations do.

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