The tricky business of Reentry

It's hard to come home.

When I go away for work (I travel the country sharing from stage as an inspirational speaker), I get to travel by myself, becoming completely inconspicuous in every airport and train station across the country.  No one knows me, and I am responsible for no one. There is a beautiful freedom that feels lighter than holding your favorite balloon.  I transcend all identities, all obligations, all responsibilities.  I can be no one and anyone all at the same time.

After this precious moment out of time, I get to transcend back into a new reality for a few short days.  The reality where I have been hired to come and share inspiration in faith and identity.  I make relationships with new friends, sleep in hotels or camps and have all my meals made for me.  I get to be a breath of fresh air to people.  Someone different from their regular life.  I also have no real responsibility and no stress, so I get to be energized, full of life, free.  I get to be me, but like the best of the best version of me.

It's awesome, and truly the best job EVER.

When I have those days apart from regular life, I have the opportunity to tap into creative juices more intensely than I do at home, because I don't get interrupted.  I don't have children or phone calls needing my attention every 10min.  I have the time to allow my ideas and thoughts to come full circle and develop into something tangible.  I love this time away to dream and scheme and create.

But then it always happens.

After I just start to scratch the surface, writing, discussing, and planning, then the weekend is over and it's time to come home.

Don't get me wrong... I LOVE coming home.  I really do.  This past weekend I got a message from my husband that said, "Our daughter is sitting on the floor in an evening gown playing the electric guitar singing 'Everything is Awesome' from the lego movie, while our oldest is hip hop dancing to her music.  Our middle is working on his 14th masterpiece artwork project of the day.  We can't wait to have you home."

Now even though this scene is true, here are the other truths.

For every one of those moments stated above, there are 12 more of my children bickering, not talking nice, air punching, not listening, or complaining about their chores (of which they have very few!).  I am a manager of five people's emotions and it is draining.  Yes we have dance parties and cook together, but we also argue and get on each other's nerves.

So coming home for me is like shifting from 5th gear to 2nd gear in a matter of a moment.

It's jarring.

My mind is set.  I am ready to work.

My heart is inspired.  I am ready to write.

My family misses me.  They are ready to snuggle.

My husband is tired.  He is ready for me to step in.

My children are complaining.  I am needed for an intervention.

My laundry pile is crazy high.  I have to dedicate at least some hours to that chore.

The seven meals I made before I left are gone.  I put the pen down and cook.

My heart and time are now divided.  I can't jump feet first to the dozens of amazing projects going on in my mind.  I can't use the momentum I had from my time away.  I need to reconnect.  Reinvest.  I also know that I want and my children need me to spend time with them.  Being with them is truly one of my greatest joys on earth (When they aren't being totally stupid for no good reason.  Then its a little tough because no one is having fun at that point).  I love being with them, planning projects for them, investing in them and just doing life together.  They are my greatest purpose in life.

The hard part for me isn't "Will the house be clean or messy?"  


"Will the kids have done their homework and be ready for school?"

My standard for my husband is that they are alive.  Everything else I can deal with.

Sometimes I come home and the house is beautifully clean with kids tucked into bed.

Sometimes I come home to Paul standing in the middle of a disaster as he looks at me with completely tired eyes that say, "I tried".  And man I know how that goes.

The struggle for me is how much my heart comes alive in my job but also with my family.

It is tricky to have two great loves in your life, each craving and demanding time and attention. Each love wanting to be in the center of your mind taking up space.

So, this week, after having an AMAZING trip in Chicago and Ohio, I was jarred back to life.  I didn't reenter as smoothly as I wanted.  I spent a day reading silly books and hating the amount of hours I used on laundry and dishes, things that will need to get done, once again tomorrow which truthfully make them seem incredibly pointless.

But I took my day sulking and managing my kids arguments, and decided I didn't have to respond that way.  I can still take my two great passions and live them day at a time.  

One step at a time.

Sometimes, one hour at a time.

Did I love someone today?

Did I honor God today?

Did I make one small step towards seeing my dream come true?

If the answer is yes, then it was a good day.

If the answer is yes, than there was richness to my day.

That is all I can ask for.

And hopefully reentry will get easier.