Stark and I had one of those long conversations yesterday where we started on a cup of coffee during brunch and sat through a restaurant closing down for dinner prep, opening for drinks only, and then reopening for their dinner hours all before we actually left our tiny, outside table. I love those Sundays.
For hours, we played a game – “Would you rather….” with a mix-mash of serious questions and completely silly possibilities. Somewhere in that start of all that, our first conversation was sparked in talking about our main life priorities at this point in our life – having been #blessed enough to check off some rather bigger milestones despite being so young. Something about that conversation made me say, “Remember how, when we were talking about moving to Sydney, I looked up all these different classes I was going to take? I was going to learn French, or German. I was going to do this or that every day. I was going to become a swimmer again. I was going to learn to cook a dozen new things; things that we dare not leave behind and were sure we wouldn’t be able to replace in any other way.
Of course, as I was researching all these different things about Sydney and the possibilities we had in moving here, I wasn’t sure at that point if I was going to be able to take my job with me or not. I was planning for the what-if of looking for a new place, a new job, and establishing a new life all at once. At that point, I had forgotten that I already had friends here and wasn’t considering how we may or may not be able to jump right into a life of actually knowing people. I was preparing against the worst possibility – not of ever feeling homesick, but of feeling like I had no idea of what to do with myself.
Looking back over the last six months, it makes me laugh. All the books I was going to read and the laps I should have swum by now.
I don’t regret anything. It was all sort of contingency plan to begin with, but I find it entertaining nonetheless.
Not all of those things are things I will just throw aside knowing that life panned out in the best possible scenario. We know people. We get to hang out with others as regularly as we’d ever hoped to. I’ve still read more books in the last 6 months than I did in the 6 months earlier. I’ve at least been to the pools a couple of times. Maybe I won’t jump into any kind of continuing education course, but I did quickly find a writers group. I even managed to write a breezy 50,000 words in November for Nanowrimo despite working full-time and establishing our life in the home we had barely moved into. The time has not been a waste.
Six months in and with the establishing, reestablishing, traveling back to the States, and coming back just in time to have to almost start all over in getting used to working here, cooking here, living here… I feel like I’m at a point where I can really start adding in to my “usual schedule.”
We’ve established that every Saturday we have coffee and eat out at a French cafe before hiking every corner of the city for no real reason other than getting out and about. Saturdays are our days of exploration. Sundays we do as little as possible. We brace ourselves for a new week. We cook at home or order take out. We eat a lot of cereal and otherwise just vege.
We’ve established “our shows” and our regular TV routine. We’ve figured out the easiest way to still get the shows we love while still giving local television a try. We’re up on every new episode of The Big Bang Theory and The Goldbergs. We’re racing through every episode of Modern Family. We have a long list of movies and television shows that could keep us well entertained for years to come.
I’ve worked 60 hours a week, at least. For a good month there, 70 hours seemed to be the least work I could do. So I’ve started compartmentalized my days differently. I wake up earlier, rather than working later. I walk out of my office and leave my phone on my desk when Stark comes in from his office in the evening. Come 7pm, I disconnect.
I cook 4-6 nights a week. I have that routine going for me. This is about as far as I’ve managed to get myself, however. Waking up at 7am, working til 7pm, doing my best to squeeze in some exercise, and then cooking for the two of us – my brain and body simultaneously go kaput!
I haven’t managed to edit those videos from Hawaii, transfer my old hard drive over to a new one (entirely), organize old photos, redo Stark’s birthday present (from October), or actually attend one of my writing groups so far this year. I haven’t been swimming laps. I haven’t been doing yoga.
That’s not to say I don’t want to. I do. That’s where I’m cycling through my schedule now and trying to make certain aspects of life as predictable as possible with the hopes of spending a couple of hours on personal projects each week and at least one day swimming laps before this warm weather fades.
I almost let it get away from me yesterday. After hours of being away from home, I was ready to sit down and do nothing after cooking dinner, but I didn’t even let myself eat my fancy homemade pizza until I had put away a load of laundry, started a new load, washed our bookshelves, waterproofed a new wooden chair, and washed and prepped our outdoor furniture for a little waterproofing as well. It didn’t take me long. It wasn’t even that big of a deal or a lot of over exertion. I didn’t miss out on any TV team, being lazy, or time spent with Stark before our work lives took over again. And it felt nice to actually get something marked off my personal to do list for a change.
Perhaps this time next week, I’ll actually have videos of our trip to Hawaii edited, compiled, and uploaded for a new blog post. Until then, just know that I’m somewhere in the bottom corner of the world trying to be super woman. And I think it’s working…