I feel like my trip home was much needed. Fourteen months is too long to go without seeing your family and friends. I needed that re-set that comes from being separated from your normal life - enough time to get some perspective and figure out the ways that day to day life can be improved upon.
[BTW- I have a terrible habit of ending sentences in prepositions! I simply cannot help myself]
I don't have a terrible life in California. I actually am a really lucky individual, living the life that I do. However, after all but one of your friends have left, and your husband is working all the time, things can get a little...lonely. Bad patterns can erupt. For instance, before my trip, I really didn't do much every day. I've watched many more hours of television than I would like to admit. But, when you don't have any plans, and you don't much to do, it feels like the natural progression. So, you sit on the couch all day long. It doesn't feel good...the guilt starts to creep up!
Fast forward to my trip. I was a busy, busy bee the whole time I was there. Go go go go go go go. Although I felt exhausted from doing so much, it was certainly a wonderful change of pace. I decided that something needed to change in my real life back home. Of course, my first week back, I was sick as a dog, so that really interfered with my new plans! This week, I'm ready to have a change. My house has been clean for a whole 9 days. For anyone who knows me, they know that's pretty astounding. I feel like that's the first part of my changing my daily life here. It feels good.
My new motto is: Just because you don't have anything to do, it doesn't mean you shouldn't do anything.
So now even when I have an empty day (like today) I will still be productive, I will find things to do, and I will be happy to not be on the couch all the livelong day.