There’s no place like home

5 days and counting. Then my daughter returns home. I always have mixed feelings about the return of my normal life; part of me looks forward to it, another part wishes I could stay single, not single-mom. I have more freedom, though I tend to do nothing with my freedom. I always think I’ll go out more with “the girls” or see more movies, but in reality, I just enjoy doing nothing. And the ability to do nothing goes away when my daughter comes home.

As a parent, whether single or married, sleep is a precious commodity. Any chance you have to catch up, you seize the opportunity as if it were gold. This last week I took a trip to Daly City (outside San Francisco), taking a 4-day weekend. I stayed with some friends with the plan to do nothing but sleep. And for two days, that’s what I did. I slept at night, I slept during the day. I ate when hungry, but I didn’t change out of my PJs until day 3. When I was finally unable to sleep anymore, I went out and did the “tourist thing.” I walked and shopped in Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf. While I had a good time, I was very lonely. My friends had to work Friday and Monday, so I was left in their house all day, in theory to sleep. But I’d slept so much, I was restless. I’d flown up there, so I had no car, and just about every part of San Francisco and outer cities is full of hills. As the crow flies, the nearest market/strip mall was less than 2 miles away. But with the hills, walking down the hill took about 20 minutes, and up about 35. So the motivation to go anywhere was quickly squashed by the thought of straining my knees up the hill.

I’ve always heard that the percentage of depressed people increases in places with perpetually rainy or cloudy weather. San Francisco in the summer can be very overcast and foggy. At one point during my stay, it was foggy and windy, so the trees were “raining” water down from their leaves. It reminded me of a camp I attended in February as a teen; not cold enough to snow, so it was always cloudy and “drippy.” This in combination with my isolation lead me to feel very sad and eager to go home. But I also missed my daughter. “Em” comes home very soon, and I (and my parents) cannot wait, but at the same time, I find myself wishing for more time to myself. “Em” won’t go to visit her father until Christmas this year, so it’ll be another three-and-a-half months until I get a whole week to myself, though it’ll be somewhat sad as I’ll miss Christmas morning with “Em.”

Maybe I’ll go to Disneyland after we do our little family stuff in the morning. I hear it’s one of their busiest days of the year.

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