I’m here in Portland with my sister, sister-in-law, nephews, and parents. Dad and I drove up on Saturday. It’s rainy. Duh. It’s the Northwest, it’s supposed to be rainy. But I mean *really* rainy. On Sunday, it rained so hard that I thought I was by the ocean, listening to waves washing up on the shore. Yesterday, we had a break and I took the dogs out for a walk in the nice big park nearby. The ground was still muddy and the air cool when the clouds hid the sun, but we had fun. Today, it’s *really* rainy again. A good day for shopping; Mom, Dad, and I went downtown and shopped at Powells, Sur La Table, and Anthropologie. Too bad we didn’t skip that last stop…we wouldn’t have gotten a parking ticket. Kinda steep: $34 for an extra 10 minutes. Jeez. Also, a good day for reading and writing.
I caught up on Brooke & Peggy’s blog and got to thinking about my recent experiences in “coming home.” That is, coming home to my various families: husband and kids; my parents; my sister & her family. These are the people I associate with “home,” the people I’m closest to, the people I’ve lived with the most. Each one has its lonely aspects, as Brooke/Peggy so eloquently put it. Here, in Portland, I feel a special closeness to my sister and sister-in-law and the boys. Still, I can feel lonely when I realize how different their lives are from mine. Also, with my parents, I re-discover how different our priorities are. The hard part is acknowledging the differences, accepting them, then moving along with each other. When I’ve struggled with these differences, I’ve gotten frustrated and angry. I guess I want everyone to be the same, to have the same priorities. How silly. Why should my parents have the same concerns as me? Why should my sister? Would it really make me feel better if everyone had the same concerns, priorities, problems, issues, situation as me? I don’t think so. Next time I find myself frustrated or angry with someone I love who does things differently than me–isn’t that *all* the time Becky?!–I need to remember this little moment of insight. Everyone comes at life from different directions. We may enter the roundabout together, we may pass each other at the intersection, we may wait behind the other at the four-way stop; however, we all go our separate ways eventually. That may sound lonely, but I don’t think it has to feel lonely.