Baseball tryouts? But wasn't it just soccer season? Many of us who travel delude ourselves into thinking that life when we return from a trip will be the same as it was when we left. We assume we can pick up where we left off with our spouse, our kids, our friends.
It won't, and we can't. Traveling for business can feel like one of those science fiction novels in which a spaceman takes two years journeying to a distant planet and returns to find that two decades have passed at home. It's amazing how the world turns when we aren't there to experience it.
What's the remedy? Traveling less, sure, but that's usually not an option. Keeping in touch from the road, but you already try to do that. Faced recently with a week on an upside-down schedule in the Middle East and then at least another week adjusting to home life on my return, I started asking around about a better way.
The first step to staying connected, says Newport Beach, Calif.-based clinical psychologist, author and lecturer Dr. Robert Puff, is to have connections to begin with. If you've taken the time to participate in a regular tennis game, have date nights with your wife and know the topics of your kids' term papers, your reentry process will be that much easier.
It also helps if you've stuck to a regular communication schedule on the road, such as a bedtime call each night or a check-in with friends via e-mail or Twitter, almost as if you were in your office or living room. Try to set up something that you can look forward to doing together when you get back, like a picnic or movie night. That won't just get you updated, but will also create a new experience to share.