Not so long ago I would look for any excuse to travel. I spent my late 20's on the road, jetting off to exotic locales like High Point, Paramus, and Flint. I'd use Saturday-night stay rules to tag extra excursions onto work trips, and saved up my frequent flier miles so I could go sailing in Greece and Thailand. It was life on an expense account, and it was all right by me.
Nowadays it's not so easy. I still like the idea of traveling, and if someone offered me a trip to Cairns or Capetown or Cologne I'd be all over that like hair on Robin Williams. But the prospect of spending days away from my family at a time suddenly strike a powerful counter-balance to those urges.
Travel is a part of my job, and I'm OK with that. But now I parse it out, and make extra efforts to linger at home a few extra minutes whenever I can. For example, tonight I booked a late flight so I could rush home after work and get 20 minutes of play time with Cheeky. So what if she's just had a nervous breakdown or can't break away from her chicken fingers...at least I get to see her. If I didn't I'd be sitting at the airport thinking about the moments I might have missed, and that's no good.
It was easy to dwell on this last night while I was stuck at JFK watching my flight move from a 7:45 departure to 1:08 AM!! The bartender at the Delta lounge was tired of seeing me, and I threatened the gate agents with spice rub and sausage. But when they got around to canceling my flight at 11:30, instead of getting angry I heaved a sigh of relief--one more day with the family.
We'll see how I feel tomorrow, when these two things collide in a marathon cross-country flight for my brother's wedding. I'm sure when we run out of things for Cheeky to read somewhere over Colorado I'll feel differently. But for today, it's good to be home.