As a kid, I remember hearing my mom grumbling about “reentry” after a trip.
I used to think it was a bit dramatic. I mean you unload the car, do some laundry and generally put things back where they belong.
No big deal, I thought.
I think otherwise now.
Reentry is serious business.
We just returned from four nights in The Middle of Nowhere, North Carolina. No seriously, I think that must have been the unofficial name of the town. The nearest “metropolis” was Hot Springs, which boasts a population of around 300. Yet, due to its proximity to the Appalachian Trail (through the downtown) and Asheville (about an hour away), this happy girl was able to get an organic salad with grilled tofu:)
Our usual Thanksgiving ritual of extensive hiking was cut short this year due to an injury that Brock is working through, so we supplemented our short hikes with lots of being lazy. Tiger approved of this plan, especially because we were in a warm cabin instead of freezing in a tent this year.
And after four nights of a small space, a simple existence with no phone or internet connection and easy “schedules” (do you want to play Rummy before or after dinner?), we drove back into Atlanta Sunday morning.
Back to reality.
And the pain of reentry.
I wasn’t the only one struggling today.
I could see it on my students’ faces as they suffered from the intersection of not enough sleep and the demands of a school day.
I saw it in my coworkers as they grappled with trying to find their groove again.
And I even witnessed it on the roads, bleary drivers attempting to come to terms with the realities of the road.
Reentry is hard because the pace of vacation is replaced with the increased pace and expectations of normal life.
Reentry is hard because it often follows travel and the discomfort and disorientation that follows.
Reentry is hard because of the magnified efforts that are required to switch gears, both physically and mentally.
Reentry is hard because it takes time for routine to become routine and it always feel harder than it used to.
Reentry is hard because it is transition. And change is never easy. Especially when it comes before we are ready.
Reentry is hard. And it is also temporary. By tomorrow, my students will be alert, the teachers will be on-point and the cars will navigate a little more smoothly (this IS Atlanta, there’s always nonsense on the roads!).
And this is true whether you’re experiencing the pain of reentry from a break from work or facing the reentry into singlehood.
It’s always hard as you transition.
And it always gets easier as you adapt.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving (or that you can be grateful that it’s over) and that your reentry has been as painless as possible. Tiger suggests that lots of naps helps you get into the groove again:)