Day one of Summer Adventure Aftermath was a tough one for me, yikes! I've never done well with aftermaths. Whether it's a good or bad major event that occurs, I always struggle big time for a chunk of time following. After one of Elijah's particularly difficult surgeries, Dan, Elijah and I spent almost a solid week in the hospital without leaving. Elijah's recovery was painful and tearful and we experienced a solid week of intensity with hardly any relief. When we got back home, I logged onto Facebook to see tons of jibber-jabber about Jon and Kate (Plus 8!) splitting up. I remember being totally appalled about people wasting their time thinking (much less writing!) about the ridiculous drama of two reality tv stars! We had just experienced raw pain, fear and uncertainty, so to be abruptly welcomed "back to life" with such petty drama made me mad! The stark contrast was startling.
Any experience that completely takes you away from the life you know for a period of time is going have a major effect during that period, obviously, but also after. The after is usually what sneaks up on us. Every single time I go on a fun vacation, I get wrapped up in the fun and adventure and NEVER REMEMBER the aftermath until...after. Every single time we check Elijah into the hospital for surgery, I get wrapped up in making sure he comes out alive and NEVER REMEMBER the aftermath until...after. It sneaks up on me every time. I knew there would be an adjustment after this trip. Our lives are totally different now, after all, but somehow I didn't expect to feel quite like I do today.
Perspective is such a crazy thing. So many things about our time on the road have changed my perspective about so many things. Before we left, it seemed RIDICULOUS that we could possibly live in such a small vessel for "so long." Now? I can't fathom living in a house! Living in a small space has had a positive impact on our family in several unexpected ways. It is virtually impossible to run from conflict in here (especially with no car to sneak away in), so we've been forced to deal with issues. We spent the first few weeks sorting through things and once we ironed them out, we were good! We had tired spats after, but everything was lighter after that initial few weeks. Also, having a tiny home makes it MUCH easier to interact with one another. Whether we're asking the boys to do chores or play cards, we are always in close vicinity so opportunities to interact are more frequent. We sat together almost every morning (missed a few) and prayed and read the Bible together. Here at the end of this journey, we know each other better than ever.
Easing back into real life is scary! Our life before the trip equaled (speaking for myself) stress, over-extending to a very unhealthy level, saying yes to everything, totally filling up our calendar and waking up at 3:00 every morning worrying about aaaaaall of the above and more. Since we've been back I feel like I've been walking very gently on thin ice. I am fearful that I will fall back into my old ways and find myself back in the same stressful place I was at before we left. Selling our home and hitting the road was crazy, but this transition back is even crazier!
So, yes, a major transition/adjustment is in the works, but just like with every other aftermath we've dealt with (and I'm an aftermath pro), things will normalize. We will adjust to our new norm while hopefully keeping major stress at arms length. The positive things we've pulled from this experience are IMMENSE and will continue to reveal themselves to us as time winds on.
Much more to come! (Kinda wish I had it in me to stay up till 3am to type everything out, but bed is calling!)