This is the very honest question I've been asking myself for the last couple days, as I prepared to come home from a 9-day honeymoon in Aruba. Our time there was relaxing, refreshing, & invigorating. We laughed more than we have in a long time, learned more about each other's habits and quirks, and ultimately realized we were very ready and excited to tackle whatever "real life" had in store for us back home.
But today, as I opened my work inbox after 14 days away to find 132 unread messages that needed responses yesterday, I felt nothing but overwhelmed. I sat in this library, staring at old issues of Vogue and Washingtonian (because who's had time to begin internet services at home recently?) and wondered why I thought that taking so much time off was a good idea. Why was it worth it to lose so many hours of work time?
Because you just got married, my mind reminded me. Because you're beginning a new life in a new home with a new identity. Because what matters in the long run is your Vocation - the one you began just 12 short days ago.
These things are true. And what I realized is that there is no easy way to transition from single to married, from honeymoon-vacation to work-reality. Not when you have 2 people's laundry to catch up on, and dinner to make all of a sudden, and an apartment to make feel homey despite the still-white walls. The addition of parishioner emails informing me that our newsletter is more pathetic than that other parish's is just the cherry on top.
Don't get me wrong: I'm still excited for these new beginnings. I'm still excited to go fold our laundry and figure out what to make for when my husband (!) returns home from work tonight and to do a little grocery shopping trip. But these changes and beginnings are bittersweet: they bring with them a loss of "me", a realization of how selfish I am, and the necessity for vulnerability - all of which are the average human's least favorite things.
So we'll work together on becoming a family: on losing ourselves in gaining each other, and on better learning how to serve and be served.
I've given and received quite a number of toasts in the last few weeks, but here's another: here's to new beginnings. Here's to sharing closets and bathroom sinks. Here's to crashing to reality and allowing the parachute of spouse to catch you. And here's to growing in the vocation of love, daily, through the ordinary monotony of life.