To say that I loved being in Utah over the holidays would be a serious understatement. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that the thought of having to leave, plagued me with worriment. Very comparable, in fact, to the feelings I experienced as a student, as Christmas break or summer vacation began to vanish before my eyes. Realizing that it would all pass too quickly and before I knew it, I'd be thrown back into the mundane, day-to-day routine of it all. The tests, the papers, the homework, the studying, the social pressure, the early mornings, and so on...and so on. Why couldn't the fun have lasted forever? However, despite the fears and anxieties that I consistently experienced, it was inevitable that once I went back, it was actually okay. It was always fun to see my friends again. It was always fun to learn new subjects, and have some structure return to my life. The very things that I had dreaded, were the very things that I needed the most. I had to remind myself of that, when periodically throughout our trip, I'd wake up during the night in a panic upon realizing that we only had 5 more days, and then four...and then just three...two, one. I had to remind myself on our drive home that everything would be okay, but the perpetual racing of my heart interrupted my ability to think reasonably. And while entering the gate that encircles our community, and trying to control my heart from thumping inside my throat, I once again had to remind myself that life in AZ is every bit as good as life in UT. Remember the line from the movie Ever After, when Danielle arrives to the party and has to tell herself "Just Breathe"? I too, had to literally tell myself to stop this insanity, and just take a breath. Breathe in, breathe out. (Sigh) Well you know what? It worked. And you know what? I've been home for almost three full days, and I feel okay. I feel good about the fact that we're all unpacked. I feel good about the fact that Christmas is taken down (except the outside lights). I don't feel good about the mounds of laundry that I still have to tackle; but nonetheless, I feel good. Once again, the very things I had previously apprehended about our return home, are the very things that I need right now, the very things that will fill my life with structure and purpose, the very things that will provide me the strength and courage to persevere on a righteous path, and those that will surely bring me much anticipated joy and happiness.