There's an energy in the universe, a powerful buzz that constantly works to keep your life in balance, so you don't go getting all, "I'm so totally cool! I've got life all figured out!" This energy is the source of sayings like "no good deed goes unpunished" and "payback's a b*tch." And there's no better time to see this energy in action than at the end of a week-long vacation.
Think about it: if you don't use a travel agent (we didn't), there is a lot of planning that must go into a vacation. And if you are driving, things become more detailed and complex. Leaving the country too? Heap on another bunch of considerations. Bringing the kids? Strap on your seat belt, honey, you're going to be riding the Internet for many weeks to map this trip out.
And that's exactly what I did.
Our plan was to drive nearly 1,000 miles, visiting six cities in two countries in seven days. We had two kids, lots of music, books-on-CD, snacks, DVDs, hotel reservations, pre-purchased event tickets, spreadsheets of targeted performances scheduled, and weather contingencies and back-up plans in place. Add four new tires, an oil change and tune up, car wash and charged GPS, drop the dogs off at the kennel and we were ready to hit the road.
The result? Our vacation rocked. The timing of every planned stop and event worked out perfectly. The weather was fantastic. Everyone was friendly, the car performed as expected, traffic was a dream and we took a million pictures. This is why I knew that, when we returned, the energy would find us. We unloaded the car, picked up the dogs, got milk and dinner supplies, and started the washing machine. And then the energy crawled out from under the porch and slipped under the door, as if it had been waiting for us to get home.
Before the night was over, there would be squirrels in the eaves, a barfing dog in the basement, another hoarse, barking dog with an apparent sore throat and a kid on the toilet with diarrhea, vomiting.
Welcome home. Love, the Universe.
We're taking it all in stride though. The way I see it, our vacation was fabulous, a perfect escape from the daily routines of life right before school and work start up again. Better to be reminded now of what those routines hold in store for us, with something like a sharp blow to the head, before we are back in the full throes of them again. Sure, we're standing here stunned, sore and a little humbled. I certainly didn't account for any of this in my planning. But we're also better prepared to deal with life, in all is messy glory, when it starts up in full swing again.