I’ve not been writing much since returning from the camino. To those who read this, I apologize. Returning home has been an unexpected challenge. First I returned with one heck of a chest cold. I figure this is was from being soaking wet in Santiago on October 3rd. This cold has really knocked me down so I’ve been spending much of my time resting, drinking lots of fluids and staying warm. I’ve also noticed that it has been hard to walk. My body is learning how to walk distance without a pack on. And a few areas that were injured along the camino have yet to heal. I’ve also been going over some of the photos I took along the way. I am surprised that I did not take as many photos as I normally do when I go on trips. But then again, this was not a normal trip. Nigel has been resting much more than normal as well. While walking day in and day out can take a toll on the human foot and body, it does the same with a dog. And so he is catching up on some well needed rest, snuggled under his down throw on his dog bed.
As for observations and insights since my return, here are a few.
One, I don’t care for driving. I do it if I have to, and do enjoy going to a place like the beach, but day-to-day driving…feels too heavy. I notice I don’t feel well when driving. My tummy gets upset. I do know that November 2nd, I am to have a “Reasonable accommodation meeting” with my work so to see if they are willing to allow me to drive a state car instead of my own for work. I have mixed feelings about this, as this was one of the big sticking points of my having to change jobs when Nigel came into my life, and two if I am allowed to use a state car, my reimbursement for travel money will no longer be there. But there are some bright sides to this as well. I would be allowed an ORCA card, or bus pass to commute to and from work. And this will save money and wear and tear on the car. And allow me to not feel ill when driving.
Two, while this is not a big surprise to anyone, I don’t care for TV. I’ve never been one to watch “regular” TV and while I do own one, it is connected to my Wii so as to stream Netflix. For there I watch all the PBS, National Geographic shows and documentaries I do like.
Three. like many American’s I have too much “Stuff”. So in the days and weeks to come I will be paring down much of what I have. If it is something I don’t use, or have not used in 6 months it goes. I feel a great need to keep my life as simple as possible. I contribute some of this to being on the camino where, when living out of a backpack things are very much simplified. Also a great deal of this is from the fact that my parents have been ill and keeping things simple helps me focus on the important things instead of trying to clean house, I can be at their home.
Four, People. While I enjoy and love my friends and family, I feel I need to keep my exposure to crowds and large groups down to a minimum. I don’t like the noise of crowds, and am finding that once I could tolerate people talking on their cell phones in a public place, now I’m having difficulty with this. The feeling and sounds are stifling and I don’t wish to have that around me.
Five, Work. The state of Washington is really struggling with this recession and so that means that jobs are iffy at best. Many of my co-workers are worried about losing their jobs. I am finding that when I think of this, it feels okay. Yes, it would be very difficult, and hard to pay my bills etc, but to me it feels deep in my gut that when one door closes another one opens. Also along the line of work, I am realizing I am having a much harder time multi-tasking. My brain does not wish and can not do more than one or two things at a time. It seems to take a great deal of focus and concentration on one thing to get it right then move on to the next. How this will play out at work I don’t know. Since my job is one big multi-task. Only time will tell how this works for me.
I know there are more insights to come as time goes on. These are just the ones that struck me first as I try to return to the world in which I live in. In the meantime, everyone enjoy the lives they live. The people they love, and the changing of the seasons. I know I will.