OK, maybe saying I hate vacations is a little hyperbole. But thanks to this brain of mine, coming home from vacation sucks, and not just for the “back to reality” aspects of it.
It doesn't matter if it's a weekend camping, a roadtrip to Disney, or a trip to an exotic locale. If all three of us (me, Jamie, and Max) were off on an adventure, there's always the same thing that happens.
Sometimes, it starts on the second to last day, sometimes it does me the favor of not kicking in until we're close to home. When I think too much about going home, the feeling starts.
The anxiety of homecoming.
Every potential terrible scenario runs through my head.
It can just be one of those nagging feelings in my gut, or it can nearly be a full-on anxiety attack, like when you almost get in an accident but don't, but your adrenaline doesn't know you're OK? That.
Have we been robbed? The house exploded? The car stolen? Are the cats dead? These are all of the things that rattle through my brain the closer we get to home.
Sometimes I can rationalize them away. Christine drives by our house multiple times a day. She'd call if there was a fire. Even if we did get robbed, I have my camera and computer with me, so our photos are safe. And the cats? Total honestly, they're little jerks sometimes and it would be sad if they died but in reality, I'd be fine.
But then there are the other times. That I can't talk myself out of the freakout.
We pull into the driveway, and I want to be the first one in. I take a deep breath through my nose, to check for any rotting or terrible smells. I glance into the living room to make sure the TV is still there. (I figure that if anyone broke in, they'd take the TV) I make kissy noises to get the cats to come out from their hiding spots and come see me.
It's my brain management ritual. I'm “lucky” in that anxiety isn't so much a daily struggle for me, like it is for so many, but in those final hours of being away, before I come home again? It's the only thing on my mind.