Settling into the day to day is always hard after a trip. Anxiety over such a wide range of problems makes it hard to feel relaxed and inspired by the trip, it’s more like you come back to so many challenges and problems and it just doesn’t feel like you have an extra minute to savor where you just visited.
I don’t expect to be pitied for this observation, nor do I seek it. I guess I’m just venting about the frustrations of life. It’s fleeting, and it’s hard and then…well, then it’s over. One of the nice things though is going through your photos and beginning to formulate the article. Each photo brings me back, like this one, where I was visiting a crowded temple in Tokyo on a Sunday afternoon. The energy of the crowd was invigorating. Later on that night I’d meet up with my group and we began our whirlwind tour of Japan.
One of the things I benefit from, however, is that my parents are great beacons of optimism and hope, even at their advanced ages of 85 and 90. They have to go through so many hard things, like regular funerals for so many old friends, and so many doctors appointments and diagnoses.
Yet they remain cheerful, upbeat and terrifically interested in whatever I am doing. They never succumb to that frequent pattern that makes some older people hard to be around. They are never all about them, and they are always happy to see their children and ready to face whatever test, or procedure.
Whenever I get depressed and feel down, I think about them and what my dad always told me. “Try to have something to look forward to every day, and think about that. The present problems will not be as pressing when you’re looking ahead at something fun.”