Jane Doe, MD–My Mid-Life Career Sabbatical
Chapter 12–Weekend At (My Real) Home, At Last!
This weekend I was in my home for the first time in two months. My husband is away with friends on a long planned trip, my daughter returned to school at a great distance. Only my son is in the house, continuing to prepare his master’s thesis for defense. From Friday afternoon until late Sunday evening I attended solely to my roles as wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. This refreshed me.
I miss my home: the comfort of my bed, the connected feeling from the daily local paper, the completeness of my kitchen equipment. At this time of year I most miss my garden and porch. Most years I would spend at least half a day each weekend in season doing garden work. This year there was no planning or planting; these are the most enjoyable activities. There remains, the task of maintenance. I spent most of Saturday and part of Sunday weeding, dead heading and thinning plants.
The when not in the garden, I performed other types of maintenance. Dinner and cards with my son and visiting my in-laws top the non-yard maintenance list. Farther down are phone calls and correspondence with friends and relations, lists of household tasks to be done but which will have to be delegated and a cursory review of finances. When I am home these thing compete with each other for time and mental resources but not with clinical or academic demands.
I feel conflicted when I split my attention. With my geographic separation I rarely have to do so. Barring catastrophe, episodic maintenance is what my personal life will get until the spring when I will again be home to plant in literal and metaphoric ways.