One of the more common things people would say to me during my trip went something along the lines of "I bet you'll miss X, Y, and Z when you go back." Only one person said something that I thought was really intelligent and, well, encouraging. I was asked what I was looking forward to getting back to.
So rather than list all the many many things I miss about what is still home in my mind, I thought I'd give a few of the things that, while I was away, I actually started to miss about life in Australia, what I've been happy to be back to for the past month.
Running my own home. Not that I didn't love having my mom and dad kind of... take care... of me and my family for our visit, there's just something that doesn't feel right as a woman when you aren't running your own home after a while. Breaks are nice, being taken care of is wonderful, but I really truly do love maintaining and caring for my home and family myself.
Fresh food. Ok, I LOVED not having to cook a meal for a month (though I did make rolls and cinnamon rolls and pie at different times during my visit), and my mom and aunt are wonderful cooks, (big sandwich anyone?) but there's something about fresh, local produce that really does taste... better. That, and coming into summer meant plenty more fresh fruit and veggies. Especially cherries! Oh how I looooove Tasmanian cherries!
Gardening. Not that I've been able to get to as much as I'd like, what with Simon being a baby who needs, you know, lots of care, and sensitive baby skin (the sun is intense), and there being a lot of things that are just too gross/harmful in our back yard for a bay to crawl on, but I have high hopes for our summer garden this year (again), and I'm happy to be able to do whatever work I can in it. I love being able to work and grow our own food. And the peas and beets we've gotten from it so far have been delicious.
A routine. Poor Simon (and Phillip and me) didn't sleep well at ALL during our trip. Massive time change, going back and forth between various houses and visits, staying up late. Nothing was ever really the same for long for the poor kid, and his sleep schedule reflected it. Getting back into a routine has meant that he, at most, wakes up twice during the night now, and is just the happiest baby during the day. Even with cutting four teeth at once! Routine and happy baby has also meant I've been able to get back into two things I love.
Painting and working out. I'm excited to jump back into my painting project(s). Not getting along as fast as I'd like, but delving into my paints again has been nice. Along with getting back into some sort of work-out routine. I wanted to start feeling overall healthy again, which was hard to do even before going on a month-long vacation. Getting back into yoga and some other cardio-type things has been wonderful. My body feels so much less achy, and I have so much more energy. And I just feel happier.
Are there other things and people I'm happy to be back to? Of course! But my "thankful" list can't go on forever publicly. They'll just be for me to mull over and feel all warm and fuzzy about. Doesn't mean I don't still experience crushing homesickness, I do. There are still moments when I will sit and cry over how much I miss my family and friends. But I've learned I can't dwell on what hurts, what is painful. Acknowledge it, yes, accept it, of course. But I realize, too, that there is just so very much to be thankful for, here, as well.