It’s snowing. It’s the end of March in Nashville, TN and it’s snowing. I love Tennessee, the place where I was born and raised, but I moved to Florida so that I can be outside year round without being cold. My husband and children are vacationing in Phoenix and they are not cold. Hmmm, this separate spring break plan may not look like it’s working ideally. But it was beautiful until this morning and todays’ wet and cold weather works well for hunkering down and collaborating with my sister by writing in a warm hotel room with the window cracked.
My travel tricks have worked fairly well so far. The hotel kitchen has allowed me to eat well most of the time, such that I have been able to eat at a restaurant once as a treat. The hotel room has not bothered me too much, as long as I keep some fresh air flowing in and my air filter by my head when I sleep. This is the third time in four years that I have used a Marriott’s Residence Inn, different cities each time. I can count on the kitchen, open windows and their laundry detergent not bothering me when I use their linens. The shower filter didn’t work out this time; I could not get the hotel shower head off to install mine, even with extra tools borrowed from my cousin’s house. So I have had to minimize my showers because chlorine causes open sores on my mouth and irritates my throat. A typical TILTed negotiation – multiple bad hair days for less pain. My mask was employed for some events, like an art gallery. My glutathione stayed chilled in my travel refrigerator pack and I continue to nebulize every day in an attempt to slow the cognitive dysfunction that is unavoidable with travel exposure. However, I am aware that today, day 5 of being away from my ultra safe air quality at home, my mental clarity is diminished. Additionally, my overall energy is low, my scalp is a huge mess of a rash, and my eyes are inflamed enough that I have had to start some steroid drops. I am going home tomorrow and the day after that I will know just what the damage is. My body tends to do delayed reactions when the exposure load is as high as it gets from travel. Masking is the ultimate denial enabler.
Right now it still feels worth it. Thankfully, I can use my sister’s blog to showcase the positive sides of my trip since she managed to produce some nice work while my head got progressively mushier (check these links if you want to see some very pretty pictures). I got time with my family. I celebrated my niece’s amazing accomplishments. We walked around Nashville’s Radnor Lake and explored Leiper’s Fork, a quirky art and foodie haven. I was back home so customer service people called me honey and the daffodils were in bloom. They were simple things but, as many of us know so well, it is the simple things we have to work harder to make happen. Then we value them even more.