Thursday, July 04, 2013


Sometimes the phrase sounds a little passe to me, but I mean this literally: I am overwhelmed with gratitude. As often happens after a trip abroad, I return home so completely grateful for my life here. Granted I was overtired on my return, but even seeing our mountains and lakes, blue skies, orchards and vineyards, I got really tearful while descending in the plane yesterday.
I've experienced "happy to be home"  many times before, but never to this extent. When I got home, I must have spent a half hour walking around my home feeling "wow". This feels luxurious, like I'm at some upscale resort or something.
I felt giddy in the shower having water that heats up quickly. On the trip I only used a bar of soap to shower, so having shampoo and body wash felt like an over the top indulgence. The water pressure is perfect, the towels felt impossibly soft, there were two cute pups to greet me as I towelled off, tons of room for shavers and toothpaste on the counter, even an ELECTRIC toothbrush! I was thirsty and could drink cold water from the tap!!!!!
My coffee tastes out of this world, I have a car to drive instead of having to call for a taxi and hope he's not going to rip me off, my clothes have drawers and are clean and by some miracle I can wash them when I want instead of hoping room service doesn't forget again to pick them up.
I can make calls on a cell phone without having to worry about roaming, there's a fridge full of food that I recognize, my TV is crystal clear and wifi works unbelievably well.
My family and friends left my home in impeccable shape, the plants and flowers are all healthy, the lawns are green, the floors clean and dishes done. My dogs BARELY ate my couch, and haven't left my side since I returned.
I shared a slideshow of my pictures and HD videos on a 51" TV last night with my Dad and step mom, followed by some funny YouTube videos. On a TV. Do we live in the future?!
I spent an hour picking through dozens and dozens of work emails with delicious coffee and fresh fruit.
My egyptian cotton sheets and fancy memory foam mattress were almost embarrassingly comfortable last night, not to mention a queen size mattress that now feels gluttonous in size. Do I really need all these dressers and drawers. An ENTIRE closet just for shirts and sweaters and pants? THREE pairs of pj bottoms to choose from? I can wear a soft cotton shirt because its not so humid and sticky and I didn't have to dig through a suitcase to find it.
I'm currently sitting on my patio swing on my work laptop but I could have been using my iPhone, iPad or PC up in the den. FOUR devices to choose from, this is ridiculous.
I think the big difference this time is that I really connected with some locals while I was there; sweet, good people that are happy and fulfilled yet live a much simpler life. I found myself withholding the full truth of what life is like here when talking with them because I was a shy about how spoiled we are. They work harder and longer days than we do, and for far, far less. They pray more than I think we do, say "sir" and "ma'am" at every opportunity, smile all the time, are generous and gracious and polite, and gorgeous.
I'm sad to leave the Philippines behind (for now) and I miss my new friends. I can't wait to connect with the DOZENS and dozens of close friends and family that are here.
I have two lawns to mow (with an electric mower, no less) and laundry to do in the comfort of what now feels like a mansion, and the next four days off work to indulgently deal with jet lag - waaaaahhh.
I feel spoiled, frankly a little embarrassed, and beyond grateful.

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