Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Everyday Days

When I was little, I never understood why adults said, “Boy, time flies! It seems like just yesterday that you were born.” Time never seemed to fly for me. Instead it often seemed to drag. “Am I old enough to go to school now?” Then, “Why, oh, why aren’t I ten yet?” Next it was, “Will I ever be able to drive?” And then finally, “I can’t wait to get to college.”

And guess what I think now? Boy, time flies! I say it to my nieces and nephews, knowing that they roll their eyes and think I am old. I don’t know when or why it changed. Aaron has a theory that our perspective shifts as each day we live becomes a smaller percentage of our total life. I wonder if, as adults, we just spend so much time in the past and the future that we miss all the everyday moments. I've heard that life will teach us the same lessons over and over again until we learn them. I seem to be in the midst of a long lesson about the importance of keeping my mind in the same time and place as my body.

Being unemployed has me always looking to the next adventure we can take. Sometimes I feel like I’m just living from vacation to vacation. Budgeting, planning, researching, watching ticket prices… And knowing that we are living in Germany for a specific and finite length of time has my mind always racing ahead to the next chapter. Where do we want to live in the States? Will I be able to find another job I like? Will Aaron keep working for this company? You know, you can really drive yourself crazy with this stuff. And meanwhile I realize that we’ve lived here for nearly a year and a half! And I’ve been unwittingly waiting for it to be over. I miss my career, I miss my friends, I miss my family, I miss friendly American strangers, blah blah blah- you’ve heard it all before.

The reality is that I traded three years of my life for this experience. That’s too precious an investment to just wish away. I mean, of course I love all the tourist stuff but I also have an everyday life over here that is far less exciting than a weekend in Stockholm and a road trip to Brussels. But everyday is the stuff that our lives are really made of. So here’s to this quirky little German village and all my stoic neighbors. Here’s to slowly and painfully learning another language. Here’s to eating breakfast, lunch and dinner with my spouse seven days a week. And (gulp) here’s to unemployment, which has given me the opportunity to dig up a long-buried creative part of myself that likes to write, knit and cook. Here’s to everyday. Hope you enjoy yours too.

1 comment:

cortina said...

i need to re-read this and write you a long letter now. but tiago is fussing in my arms and i can't concentrate. i've been so disheartened today, not living for the day...i'm going to go enjoy a LAPIN KULTA beer...and enjoy my arctic "everyday". love you. thanks for your post.