I don't usually lead a post with a photo of myself, but today calls for it. I figure this little verbal celebration begs for a photo of my own self, my own little precious gem.
Today, finally, after 6 long and arduous weeks, I get Me back. Today, finally, I will actually see the sun in the sky, feel it on my skin, take in what's all around me, the fog lifted.
I am telling you right now: Never. Again.
Yesterday was the final day of what I've been working toward with singular focus for 6 weeks -- the end of audit fieldwork. At 5:20pm, I watched the auditor's narrow back recede as she rolled her giant briefcase out the door and got into her Lexus.
I thought I'd be free to reclaim my brain at the beginning of October, but I was mistaken. I thought I'd resume my earlier ways of rising at 4:30, now in the dark, to read and write and enjoy some solitude. It took me until today to even want to, if I'm being honest. I've had no inclination, eviscerated as I have been by work, to do anything more than collapse into a book or show, turn brain off, shut all systems down, sleep whenever possible.
It's gross, but that's how I've been feeling: eviscerated by work.
But that's done, so I'm crawling back, trying to remember how I did all these things before, climbing back into my own skin, and already, already feeling so much better. It's been such a strange year, really -- nearly half of it dimmed by physical pain, then a summer of surgery, sloth and recovery, followed by this period of over-work. So strange. And bleak.
It's not what I would wish for anyone, and certainly not for myself.
* * * * *
And in 5 days we leave to France.
Glorious timing, right? What better way to celebrate my liberation from this unpleasant yoke than by heading home to soak in the headwaters of Trelaun, spend time with Joe and with my sister and brother-in-law, eat the beauty that is France, delight in the sounds of the language entering my ears, leaving my mouth.
Oh, it's going to be delightful. And restorative in so many ways.
And while there I'll really, really be thinking about this unpleasant yoke that chafes and dreaming and making plans for a better future.
But first I will just rest.
As I prepare for departure, I'm dreaming every moment of the clatter of shutters against the house when I push them open in the morning, the bells of the cows passing in the street below, the crunch of leaves in the little park across the street. I'm dreaming of standing there inside so many memories, my own and those of my ancestors, and adding more, adding our generation's contributions, finally, to our long history in this house.
After a challenging year, it will be such respite. So well deserved