It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Friday, March 17, 2017

For Real - Chicago Trip Edition

For Real - It is 9:45 on a weekday morning and I am in a hotel room bed drinking coffee and eating doughnuts from the second highest-rated shop in Chicago. (It is only a block away so it is automatically my #1 rated.) it feels ridiculously luxurious.

For Real - I love being in nature. I love the sound your shoes make on the paths while you crunch your way from the tent to the cinder-block and cement public restroom just as dawn and my bladder awakens. YET, last night and today I have my ninth floor windows open so I can easily hearing the honking horns, rumbling "L", the sirens, and the woosh of tires in the puddles of melting snow. I couldn't get used to these sounds and I wouldn't want to live this way but I am enjoying them. 

For Real - Due to the way we traveled, packing space was limited. My husband was a little dismayed when he saw how many books and magazines I packed anyway. (Tucking them under my clothes on my side of the suitcase. ) 

For Real - I love the Art Institute even though it is always uncomfortably hot. The people watching is just as pleasurable as the art. The wonder of seeing something in person that you studied in a book is always going to be there for me. 

For Real - I don't know how to respond to the beggars and homeless on the corners and in doorways. I feel helpless. I feel guilty. I feel shocked. 

For Real - The older I get and the more I travel, the more I am ashamed that I only speak one language. I barely know how much I am missing because of this deficiency. 

For Real - I had to do some of the things my husband usually takes care of because he was out of town before me. It was humbling to "walk in his shoes". I have a new appreciation for all that he does for us without us asking nor expressing our appreciation. 

For Real - I miss my kids and wish I could share some of my experiences with them. Sending a picture via text isn't the same. I hope they understand how much I love them and view them as interesting people. I look forward to the future when I can move to a place of deeper friendship and less parent/teacher. 

For Real - My 8th grade history teacher (Coach Sinclair) sat idly by at a kitchen table while I chased down an escaped flopping fish who was squirting blood from its headless body. My friends grandmother shielded the cheesecake with her body. I was responsible for clean up. Yeah...I'm not sure what I ate, drank, or saw yesterday that created that dream! 

For Real - I had a little over an hour for lunch with one of my oldest friends. We can go deep quickly even with months between visits. I'm so thankful for her in so many ways. One of the most important being that she is so much like one of my daughters. Because of our years of friendship over so many seasons of life, I have been able to understand how and why my daughter is feeling and behaving like she does. They cry the same way and for many of the same reasons. Even though decades, race, and language separate them, I see Erica in Stacey. I see Stacey in Erica. 

For Real: I set goals of what I would accomplish on this trip even though I said I would be flexible. But I feel like I'm not cheating because I didn't actually write out a list. 

For Real - I'm so happy to be away from our puppy. I'm not a puppy person. When someone says they want a puppy, I think they must be hugely negligent. I try to keep this unpopular and rude thought in my head but sometimes it slips out my mouth. People are offended. My opinion remains unchanged. It's slightly uncomfortable. Life goes on. 

For Real - I gave up soda (that is pop or coke to some of you) for Lent. Not a big deal at home but for some reason, when I travel, I really want soda. Especially with breakfast. I haven't figured any of this out. 

For Real - It is time for us to buy a new mattress. I really think that Michael should consider letting us get two full-size beds instead of the queen-size we have now. This once was a joke after we ends up in a hotel room in Vienna that had two single beds. But last night we each fell asleep reading in a different bed. We both slept great. I laid (Alone) in bed this morning enjoying being near my husband but not too near my husband thinking of ways we could make this work in our current master bedroom. I shouldn't have brought it up this morning. I probably should not have immediately followed that up by sharing the dream I mentioned earlier. He isn't really a morning person and had yet to have his coffee, so I may try again later 

For Real - I rode the metra for the first time by myself yesterday. I felt like a grown up. I felt capable. I also felt like I was exposed to a lot of germs. 

What is something For Real about you? 

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