I am so glad that I participated in Ali Edwards' week in the life two weeks ago. When I heard the dates and realized Paul was going to be out of town for training, I inwardly groaned. "I don't want to do this if it's just me," I thought. "This won't be a real week in the life." And then a few hours later I thought, "Self, you're an idiot. Pull yourself together and take some photos."
And what I ended up capturing makes me so happy I can hardly breathe.
Because when I look at my hundreds of photos from one week, I feel full. Sure, I don't see a lot of people. I don't see Paul. I don't see myself surrounded by family or friends (though I am so grateful they are just an email or quick drive to LA away), but I do see me. I see me living my daily life. And most importantly, I see me enjoying it. Staying busy and happy and inspired.
Undoubtedly, if Elise from five years ago could look at those photos she'd be proud of me today. And Elise from five years from now? She'd probably use one of her three wishes to get that sort of time to herself.
I am grateful that I had the opportunity to capture a week in my life as it was and how it will be for the next little while without Paul.
I know you've heard the song "Home is Wherever I'm with You." I adore that song. I think it's especially great for families and couples that move around a lot. It's a great song if you need to set down new roots often. It's great when you have to turn a different place into something that feels familiar. The song is a reminder that wherever you go, as long as you are with the ones you love, you're home.
I have been thinking about it a lot the past two weeks. Because as much as I believe it that home is wherever I'm with Paul, I am facing the next seven months without him.
And so I have two options :
Complain and wait for him to return and life to start OR redefine "home" and decide what it will mean for me.
And today, at the real start of this adventure, I define it as this :
Home is where I am. Home is where I feel safe. Home is where I want to be. Home is a place for dance parties in my pajamas. Home is watching what I want on TV. Home is cooking what I want to eat. Home is baking a quarter of a batch of chocolate cookies because I only want one. Home is a place I mess up with all my stuff and then clean when it becomes too much. Home is where I work. Home is a place I invite friends from near and far to crash at. Home is where I can pick up and leave at a moments notice. Home is where I am always grateful to return to. Home is the place I love. Home is what I make of it.
Paul is currently still traveling. We have been able to speak a few times and that has been wonderful. I am grateful for the friends that kept me occupied this past weekend. I am grateful for your sweet comments on Friday's post. I am so very grateful for the families that have done this before me and the ones that continue to do it. I am grateful for the servicemen and women that will be keeping the base Paul will live on safe and secure. I am grateful for those that have made the ultimate sacrifice; it was heartbreaking to wake up Saturday morning and read of the most recent helicopter crash.
Focusing on sending a lot of love and thanks out into the world today. I am blessed.