Returning.

I’m torn about the world opening up. It’s lovely to be back in restaurants and movie theaters and even, to some extent, the office. But are we doing the right thing? I keep hearing of friends getting Covid and numbers rising, particularly among the unvaccinated. I carry a bit of anxiety with me about all of these things, particularly as so much of how we respond seems to be politically driven. I want normal, but I feel the need to pull back. And so I am.

I moved back into the office two weeks ago. It’s been nice to move the work out of my house. I do not love driving into town again, but I do love coming home and just being at home, without the work in my presence all the time. And I do love my office. When I moved into this particular office, I did so because I loved the woman who occupied it before me. She was smart and funny and generous. She was an amazing co-worker and friend and a deeply good human being. We lost her just over a year ago, a short while after she retired from our office, and I have treasured occupying her space.

I thought I would work some from home and some from the office, but I have found myself mostly going into the office. It’s a little easier that way. All my stuff is there, and being there means I am not hauling stuff back and forth constantly. In this sense, life has returned to normal, but it’s not completely normal because very few of us are in the office right now. It’s only a step closer to normal, but I think the rest of group will be back in the next six weeks. We’ll see how that goes.

I have also traveled to and from Colorado in the last week. It was strange to be on a packed and masked plane, but it was a direct flight, so my time at the airport and on the flights themselves was limited. I do not love air travel right now. I will do it, but when I can, I much prefer to drive.

Dave and I drove to Iowa last month. It was a ten-day road trip with our bikes. And while the travel took longer, it felt more relaxed. It was us in a car with a cooler of food, which meant we basically only stopped for gas. I loved the time with him. I loved the conversation and the ease of our movements. I loved getting to ride bikes along a trail we love and around a beautiful lake where his dad lives. We felt at home even though we weren’t.

Despite the flying, Colorado was delightful. I was with a group of women who all love trail running. Some I knew. Some I didn’t. My time there was short, but it was worth the journey. I got to run in cooler temperatures for a couple of days. I made some new friends. And I was reminded once again that my favorite adventures are those that involve some kind of activity, whether it being running or hiking or racing or whatever. I just love to move, especially in cooler temperatures. And Colorado was perfect – mornings in the fifties and highs in the mid-seventies. We could not have asked for better weather.

I came home early because of some stuff happening here that I wanted to be home for. I’m glad I did. I love getting out and adventuring with friends, but home is where my heart is, and Dave is my home. He was dealing with some things while I was away, and while he could handle it, I really wanted to be present for him. It’s been nice to be back here with him.

Though we have been together for almost eight years, we are newly married. And while I thought being married wouldn’t change anything, it has. He is my person in a new way. And when he needs something, I want to help. That meant cutting my trip short, which made me sad because I also love Colorado and my time with the girls, but I know I made the right choice for me and hopefully for Dave.

I have not asked Dave about this yet, but I’d like us to return a bit to being at home more. I don’t like seeing restrictions being put in place in different cities. I don’t like seeing numbers rising. I want to do our part to help us all get truly back to normal by just being a little more careful about where we go and what we do. It seems like a small offering to the world, but it’s the part I can play, and so I would like to play it.

This Covid season has been kind to us. Dave and I have lived happily in our little home. Our lives were disrupted, but not in a bad way. We did not struggle as I know some have. I am deeply grateful for that. And I know that the joy we experienced in this space together is a good part of why I feel okay about asking him to return to being low key for a while. For us, it’s not a hard ask. I know it is for some. I know it’s just not possible for some. But for us, it’s doable. So I think we’ll do it. For just a bit longer.

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