I have a crazy delusion that life is so complicated because I don't live in Western New York anymore (that is where I grew up, and I recently spent two weeks there). I think to myself... If I lived there, there wouldn't be so much stress, so much stuff to weigh us down. But that notion is entirely untrue. It just seems that way because there are no real stresses there when I go to visit (outside of the fact that very little is child-proofed).
It is a total misrepresentation of reality. None of my responsibilities are there when I visit because I don't live there. If I did live there, all of those stresses and responsibilities would most certainly be there when all the boxes were unpacked. And then instead of living in the beautiful and exciting San Francisco Bay Area, I would live in dreary and depressed Western New York. But our families would be there and that would be wonderful. But then once we settle in, all of the stuff that gets me down and makes me feel overwhelmed would appear as our lives started to settle in there. There would still be groceries to buy and laundry to wash and cluttered cupboards and bills to pay and deadlines to meet.
But it's always so deliciously deceptive when I visit because none of that stuff is there. My only real responsibilities are to care for the daily needs of my kids. And even then, there are grandparents around willing to take the wee ones for a bit so that I can go out with friends or take a mid-afternoon snooze.
I'm sure that is partially why I get so home-sick. I'm sure I don't really yearn for Lockport, New York. Yes, I long for the day-to-day stuff we miss out on with our families and the stuff they miss out on with us and their grandchildren. And I long for the simple times that I remember. Because when I lived there 17 years ago, there was little real responsibility in my life. Everything was in front of me. My life was just starting to unfold. And that is a beautiful and wonderful time to think about. Now if only I could figure out a way to bring that feeling home.