Well, here I sit in my parents’ Minnesota kitchen on a bright snowy morning, drinking a cup of joe. It’s December 29th. Not quite Christmas anymore, not quite New Years either. It’s odd because for the first time ever, I’m getting ready to fly back to California tomorrow; before the clocks strike 2010. Usually ringing in the new year brings me through the end of a long, school-calendar-sized vacation. This year is different, and the first hours of 2010 will find me drawing labs, delivering medications, and listening intently with my stethoscope.
I don’t mind much, actually. New Years Eve can be a great little holiday when spent with close friends and family, but I sort of like the idea of having to be in the hospital when all the excitement goes down. After all, my pateints are there, and probably wouldn’t choose to be. Maybe the short 12 hours I’ll spend in the ICU that night will help them feel a little bit less like they’re the only people in the world ringing in the new year in a hospital.
Besides all that, I’m growing up. And as a result, I feel less certain that in a perfect world my entire life would be one big vacation. Don’t get me wrong, I love vacation as much as the next guy (probably even more than the next guy). It’s just that I’m also really enjoying what is becoming my adult life. Each time I come home, I learn so much from my family about how to live a good life, build good habits, cook delicious meals, keep my home organized, and balance working with friendships, church, hobbies, and relaxing that I’m eager to get back into my life and try it all out.
Yes, it’s true that it stinks that these family members don’t live within driving distance of our current home. We love them. Miss them all the time. And wish we could call them up for last minute coffee dates and dinner invites. But we’re all learning how to be family from far away, which I think is a valuable lesson for living in this century.
It’s been a great trip. Minnesota tossed us a couple hefty snowstorms just in time to make Christmas snowy white; Jeremy and I were showered with far too many thoughtful and generous gifts, as usual; mom and dad showed us a few things in the kitchen we can take out west; Fain took us to her local church and let us visit her office; and there was still plenty of time for hymn singing, reading, working out with mom, shopping and errand running, game-playing, and extra extended family visits.
On top of all that, Rick and Cheri Mann came to LA to spend a few days with us before all this vacation love. Consider my blessings counted. I’m thankful for all we’ve got.
Also consider this an invitaion/plug to come spend time with us in our own home. We have an Aerobed now, so you out-of-towners can stay right in our apartment for FREE.