goldkin: A goldkin squishie? By Jirlae? Here? Surely, you jest! (goldkin squishie awake)
Flying home is invariably bittersweet for me. It's like returning to the first town of a well-crafted RPG, 40 hours in, where you discover by sheer relief of experience just how small your world used to be. The old newbie training grounds are still there, the fort you had your first adventure in is still intact, and all of the topical content has fallen by the wayside of interestingness due to the level curve. Yet, it's filled with memories of discovery and early optimism that makes it worth the visit from time to time.

For this reason, South Florida is a bountiful source of old habits and ritual for me. It hasn't taken me very long to readjust to my old sleeping habits and late-night software maintenance schedule (as I resuscitate the aging local network). My habit of daily trips to the bookstore has reasserted itself, as I peruse for new material outside of my standard reading paths to shove into my Kindle or speculatively purchase as something I might like. And the ritual of spending the evenings mostly to myself, working on one thing or another when I'm least likely to be bothered, has consumed most of my time when I'm not in the midst of being paraded by family to some location or other.

The energy here is much nicer than I remember it, which is good. I'd been dreading this suffocating sort of social malaise that I primarily associate with visits with family, and while some of it is still present (in the form of low-grade social drama and pathologically poor communication choices), mastery over my metabolic issues and my own style of communication has made it quick to dispel. All that's left is striking a balance between my family's interests and my own, as I aggressively defend my time off and my social time from incursions of easily resolved trivia.

Our Christmas was fun in an almost parochial sense of the term. The Christmas rituals were nice, the lights and various dinners were fun for all involved, and the bepresenting went better than I expected as the primary gift giver this year. Interestingly though, the communication gap between generations was more palpable than it's ever been, contributed to primarily by age and use of technology. It seems that proficiency with the Internet has become the biggest contributor to how effective my family members are at communicating and getting things done, and to that end, each is performing admirably in their respective age categories. The notion of my parents performing their own research and tech support before asking me has me giddy, though it adds a sense of urgency to masking my actions from them online, as they're still quick to assume the worst without reading the best.

Otherwise, with the occasional social dilemma, it's nice to be temporarily back. It's let me reconnect with my cats, reassert my control over my servers and backups, and otherwise catch up with the world in ways I'm not able to when working full time. And see family and old friends, whom I hope remain in good health over the next several years as this becomes something of a new tradition.

Though, next year, I think I'll take Thanksgiving with family instead of Christmas through New Year's Day. That way, I'll be able to attend FC in 2013, which I'm sure many of you would appreciate.*

* Assuming the world doesn't end, of course.
goldkin: snoooooooww! (snoooooooww!)
Merry Christmas. It may not be your preferred holiday, but whichever you choose or chose to celebrate, I hope it's joyous and wonderful.

As for me, I'm writing this from the right-rear passenger seat as my parents cart me away to see relatives. I really do love them all, though these visits are always full of interesting challenges.

Have a good holiday. Try to make it more about love and belonging than just gifts and tradition. :)
goldkin: A goldkin squishie? By Jirlae? Here? Surely, you jest! (goldkin squishie awake)
And in which I post, because nothing says happy holidays quite like classic Zelda instrumentals and silly fan service.

For everyone celebrating today, yesterday, three weeks ago or just plain whenever, may you have (had) a warm, safe, and wonderful vacation.

October 2015

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