What is it like to live in 19’ with the Love of Your Life and two terriers for a year? Not as hard as you would imagine, certainly not as hard as I imagined. The key for me was to surround myself with only items that bring me joy.
What I thought was going to be the biggest sacrifice, a severely limited wardrobe, turned out to be my greatest discovery: When I open the clothes cupboard (of which there is only one, and it is small, and it is shared) I know that whatever I pull out I will love. This is a huge change from my walk-in closet back in Laguna where, stocked with every piece of clothing or shoe that even momentarily caught my eye, I would stand for an eternity each morning thinking, “I should wear that, or I should wear this” only to put back on my personally cut ¾ length Levi’s. Looking back, I now see the wasted time and money involved in what should just be a quick morning activity wielded solely as a pediment to more distinguished accomplishments. I am just saying, Einstein and Coco stuck to plain black.
Thanks to modern technology and, especially here in Europe, almost constantly available WIFI, I can bring along all the people who bring me joy. I am not a huge fan of Facebook, but it is difficult to imagine a year away and staying connected to my friends and family without it. Sometimes it is the seemingly trivial postings that keep the connection most alive.
Of course two of my very favorite possessions are hairy, playful and love to roll around on the bed. For this I am thankful that SP pushed us to bring along a small vacuum. Speaking of SP and possessions, when loading up we had many arguments about what should be included, tools, pots, fasteners (“a vacuum? Are you crazy?!”), I am afraid that SP’s list was much (much, much) longer than mine. I have to admit, though, that his possessions have come in handy a number of times and undoubtedly have made this year a much smoother ride.
As for Don’t Dare Label Him A Possession SP, not only does he make me laugh in the most trying of times (of which there have been many) he may forever be the only person who understands how difficult Living the Dream can be.
Is it fitting to be lingering on thoughts of returning to the US while writing this? We are planning on a mid-December return, earlier than originally anticipated. Part of this is home-sickness (Facebook does not provide the ability to hold my new nephew), part is wanting to garden on land that we can call our own, but most of it is us having grown weary of the almost constant chore of dealing with what needs to come into and out of your body. Not to mention our new understanding of Schengen (the treaty not the town.)
As for me, some joyful thoughts on my first days back in the US:
- The first thing I eat will be a toasted onion bagel dripping with butter;
- The first thing I drink will be a Manhattan;
- The first thing I buy will be a NY Times Sunday Edition or, if it is not Sunday, a Wall Street Journal.
With any luck all three items will happen on the same day.