Maslow was Right

The hierarchy of needs circa 1943 is timeless. It’s as relevant today as ever. For the past two weeks we have been “homeless”. Our home packed up and rented out for the winter ski season. Ten days at my sisters cottage and then four days with family at mom and dads apartment condo. Feeling baseless is a thing. Living out of a duffel bag and trying to stay organized is virtually impossible. You need a mindset of nomad, but that means your hierarchy is shifted down on the scale as you deal with the nomadic lifestyle. It’s not for me I can assure you.

I’m looking forward to getting back on an even keel. Where my belongings are stored and arranged to my satisfaction. Where Molly can relax and settle. Where private moments can be had privately. Everyone needs some space and down time. Alone and quiet in your thoughts. Family gatherings, especially when you’re squished in quarters too tightly, and “living” in a hotel, are hectic and lively at best and chaotic and loud at worst. In the end all’s well but there’s a lot of compromise and flexibility required. Everyone’s in the same boat: out of their routine and natural habitat.

Today was definitely mixed emotions. I’m excited for the adventure to the warmer climes, but leaving my folks behind was hard. Harder than last year. I know that I will see them in a few weeks when they come with my sister, but today they both cried as we hugged and bid farewell. That’s tough. We are part of each others routines and rely on our weekly visits for different reasons. I think seeing my uncle being so frail and ill was a stark reminder of our longevity as he’s only a year older than my dad. It hit us full blast. We are getting older.

So our interactions are all precious and special. We relish our time and enjoy the company and familiarity. Now we also talk about the inevitable and we take reality in stride. It sure makes me sad to see them cry. I try to overcome the sadness knowing that their grandson (my nephew Ben) is with them for a few more days and that our daily phone calls will still take place. I will miss the weekly visits no matter what.

I’m convinced that once all of us return to normal daily habits the bitterness will fade and be replaced with sweetness (and Florida sunshine certainly helps). I think about my friends and family members who have to adjust to holidays on their own by choice or fate. First Christmas without a loved one due to death must be extremely hard. For those who choose not to join the family gatherings I can’t empathize; I’m sure those who have suffered a loss would urge us to embrace and cherish the togetherness. Once it’s gone forever all you have are the memories.

I know I’m lucky. I’m grateful for that. I’m looking forward to calling my parents later today when we settle into our bunk for the night. I can hear my moms voice tell me: hug that Molly. Tonight I will. Tighter than usual.

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