1.5 Years Later I’m Back in the Air

Today, I’m stepping foot on a plane for work for the first time in 1.5 years. It’s like all the firsts all over again. Sneaking around the house at 3 AM so as not to wake anyone and create chaos with my two babies. Looking into my 13-year old dogs sad eyes as I tell her I will be back in three days and shut the garage door. Telling myself I can still do this. The pandemic changed me, but I can still do this.

Yesterday I was a ball of anxiety. All week I’ve been thinking of items to add to the “to do” list. With every item or task, my anxiety grew. How could I forget how to travel? How much could I do before I left to assist my husband in taking care of our two-year old and three-month old? Either way, this day is hard for me just as I’m sure it is for my husband as he is probably dragging my noncompliant toddler through the motions of getting ready for daycare while my infant is likely crying. I keep telling myself they will be okay. Nobody will get hospital sick. They will survive with stuffy noses. I will be fine too. We did this before, and we can do it again.

The truth? As I sit here on my first flight everything feels a lot the same. The plane seat had peanut crumbs in it per usual (despite it being a 6 AM flight). I still know how to get through TSA unscathed. The only difference is this mask is terrible to breathe in such a small enclosed space, and my heart is achier as it leaves behind more love at home than I can imagine. I’m also sure I’ve forgotten something I need, but if I haven’t figured out what that is yet, I’d say this first flight back to work since the onset of the pandemic is going pretty well. So, now I say goodbye to the four walls of my office I stared at for so many months and hello again to California. It was comfortable, and I really did love it, but I tend to do better when I’m just outside a place of comfort, so here we go! Now, if I could just stop getting teary-eyed!

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