Slow down.  Be where your feet are.  Breathe.  Be present in the moment.

Be still and listen to your heart.

Six days of immersion and then BOOM – reentry.

I’ve read descriptions of astronauts reentering the Earth’s atmosphere.  Movies like Apollo 13 create a remarkably realistic simulation of the experience as well.  Plus there’s always my (ugh) Mission: SPACE ordeal in Epcot.  No matter how you look at it, reentry looks pretty intense.

Gravity pulls an object back to Earth (yay), but without the drag created by air particles said object would fall dangerously fast (boo).  So you want the drag, but its downside is that it creates heat up to 3000 degrees Fahrenheit for the spacecraft and its inhabitants.  Ship design helps alleviate that heat but you can’t tell me astronauts aren’t sweating reentry, both metaphorically and physically.  Add that to the fact they’re going “very much faster than the speed of sound” (yikes) while most likely praying nothing goes wrong and I’d call it a BOOM moment.

So what’s any of this got to do with the price of milk in Carolina?

I was ever so grateful to come home after my Puerto Rico trip, but I found myself struggling with my own reentry.

I first realized it when BrightSide and the kids picked me up.  The car was just so loud.  The kids had a week’s worth of news to catch me up on – school, sports, doctor’s appointments, “this funny thing that happened the other day” – it was nonstop.  Their words tumbled over each other, thrusting all of the things I’d missed at me while I struggled to keep up.

The pace rolled on once we got home.  I’d start saying something to BrightSide, and one of the kids would toss another tidbit out there.  It was just so…constant.  And loud.  Probably not loud in my regular life, but loud compared to where I’d been for a week.  I finally had to ask BrightSide to tell me if I needed a timeout since I could feel my patience thinning.

I struggled with a lot of real world reentry.  Handling minor conflict at home – typical sibling stuff – when every fiber of my being screams this is so stupid!  Getting back on some semblance of a schedule.  Finding a balance between what I’d seen and what’s needed from me now.  I still don’t feel like I’ve gotten back into the groove with publishing on the blog, and that’s a very strange change for me.

I know a lot of this is me.  I’ve changed on a very basic level, so I’m approaching my life differently.  And it is getting better.  But there are still moments when something happens that’s like nails on a chalkboard and I have to take a step back and breathe.  Real life reentry is no joke, man.