Today is Day 3 of my reflection on our ‘Expativersary’- the one year mark. Monday and Tuesday I shared some other tidbits and updates, hope you stick with me throughout the week! If you’re about to ‘expat’- sit back and read. This is what it’s like.
I couldn’t decide what to write today. I figured, meh. I don’t have to post something every day, right? Today can slide. I have an idea for Friday- but for today- not so much. But then I decided to look back on the post I wrote October 25th of last year, and said- aha! There it is. That one. The one that stressed me out- and made my stomach cramp just reading it. The one where I needed to just SLOW DOWN.
The title of last year’s post that I am referring to is Update: 4 Days To Go. It’s crazy. I basically laundry list everything we have going on and purge all of my to do’s in one clean shot. The funny thing is going back and reading this post I am not struck with how much I kept it together, or impressed with how much I managed to cram into so little- while keeping the boys happy.. but more how I need to just freaking chill out for a minute and reel it all in. I can only imagine what I looked like. Crazy lady with the wild eyes, freaky hair and probably twitching.
I realize that we had a lot going on back then, especially at this time a year ago. But holy cannoli what a difference a year makes. Life here in the Netherlands is not set at warp speed/Defcon 5 and we’re enjoying that. I don’t race us to the mini van in the morning only to peel out of our subdivision gulping down my coffee as we go. We get up, we watch toons and eat breakfast and then I try to wheedle my husband into walking B to school. If he can’t, the three boys and I all go- but otherwise we stay in our pjs until around 10 am and take it easy.
I don’t have Target sales to peruse, a car to have washed, or post office errands to run. So much depends upon the weather that it sets the tone for the day. As soon as I come downstairs in the morning I open our front window shades (if you saw the HH episode- I express my dismay at having our lives on display via that window like they all do here. Now I find I get claustrophobic when the blinds are closed and I can’t see outside) and decide if we’re going to bike around, take a walk, or just remain inside to veg. In SC every day was a good weather day and that meant go!go!go!
So here, we’ve slowed down. Quite a bit. I think it has been a really good change for all of us and I feel more in tune with daily living than daily surviving. I was never someone who enjoyed errands or mile long to-do lists. I can’t tell you honestly the last time I made phone several calls to get something done. Truth is- I just do not live like that anymore and it’s really very nice.
Not to say that the Dutch aren’t busy- oh they are. But I don’t feel their incessant need to be on the go vibing off of them. At school drop off parents walk in, chat, take their child to the classroom and hang out for a bit. They aren’t sprinting out the door already going a million miles an hour in their mind. Sure they go to work or the gym or wherever it is that parents GO, but for the most part there’s no buzzzzzzz-ing with an impending sense of haste.
So score yet another point for the folks here. Me, a type A personality constantly zipping around and making up more crap for myself to do just to do- has been forced to reboot and bring it down a notch. Which isn’t such a bad thing. Not one bit.
What do you think? Are you a Speed Racer? How do you think you would handle going from a life of Mach 10 to definitely not Mach 10?