In college, I never felt that sad about the end of Christmas break.
Sure, I was going to miss my family. I was going to miss the lazy days of couch potato-ing while watching Dr. Phil. (Who else loves Dr. Phil??)
But I never was really that sad to go back to school. Leaving my family meant returning to my friends; and anyway, I wasn’t even leaving them for that long. I never cried. I simply said, “I’ll be back the first weekend in May.”
Well, now we know real life is pretty much nothing like college.
A week and a half ago, when I had to come back to Nebraska and leave my family, I sobbed. Like ugly, sup-supping heaves. I kept saying to my mom, “I’m sorry, this is the first time I’ve ever done this.”
Because this time, I can’t say, “I’ll see you the first weekend in May.” This time, I don’t have a set return date. This time, I used my two weeks of vacation on this trip.
I’ve been grumpy for a couple days in a row now. And not for any good reason; sometimes it just hits you.
Well, as I was blowdrying my hair this morning, I was musing on my grumpiness. Chastising myself almost — I am so blessed with where I am right now. Why am I giving in to these negative attitudes?
And then it hit me why I was grumpy, why I sobbed so hard after Christmas, why I didn’t want to leave my family: I haven’t been focusing on what I can look forward to.
In some seasons of my life, I may be lucky enough to set up a trip to look forward to; it some seasons, it may just be next week’s coffee with a friend.
I will be moving in a month and downsizing dramatically. This move will cut my rent more than in half. It’s not as luxurious of a place, but I took a hard look at my priorities, and chose this move. Because for me, when I’m single and childless and young, I want to travel. I want to visit my friends in Ohio, California, Tennessee, Texas. I want to go home to my family more. I’m downsizing my living to make financial room for that.
Next time you feel inexplicably grumpy, focus on what you have to look forward to. I promise it will help.
What are you looking forward to this year?
I’m hoping to have a year of travel.