I've never felt entirely at ease during holidays. When I was a younger man, early in my teaching career, I would travel, often choosing to fly on Christmas Day. Going home brought up difficult emotions for me, and I didn't yet have the skills to handle the tension and my reactions. Thankfully, through practice, patience, and an abundance of compassion from my family, it's now my turn to extend that compassion, and to be of service to my kids and my wife.
I'm with my wife and kids in Upstate NY right now. I arrived late last night after four days of driving, self-contained and self-resourced, in order to isolate myself in my car. Interstate 5, to Interstate 40, to Interstate 81. SoCal, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York. Only stops for gas, for quick one mile runs around truck stops or frontage roads, and to sleep in isolated, rural cabins. Not exactly the great American road trip.
But in some ways maybe it was.