Being back home has been very nice.
Part of it is that my obligations here are pretty low-key, bordering on nonexistent. I’ve had several meals with friends and family, played some board games with my neighbors, and watched some movies with my mother. But I’ve also played quite a bit of Let It Die, solved a ton of puzzles, continued reading the Culture series (I’m up to the last one, The Hydrogen Sonata), and watched plenty of Twitch. These last are, essentially, the same things I fill my days with back at my house in Lenoir.
In earlier years, I would have felt a little guilty about that. I used to cram as many different restaurants as possible into every visit, coordinate visits with the maximum number of old friends and acquaintances, spend as much time as possible with family. But now? I know I’ll be back for the holidays, and then again sometime later next year. And when I visit I know I won’t be time constrained. So why force it?
Because of that, I’ve been enjoying it a lot more. It was always nice to visit, but there was always an undercurrent of maximizing the efficiency of my visit–even of some of that was “spending as much time as possible watching the new season of Black Mirror with Mom”–that made it all more exhausting than it should’ve been. Not so much this time.
I’ll be leaving Baton Rouge to visit a friend (and fellow early retiree) in Arkansas early next week. I expect that trip to be a little more packed, a little more stressful… and that’s fine, because it’s not home. Home should be easy.
And, for the first time in a long time, it really is.