When I’m here … I notice that I do things that I never do in the U.S.
- I sleep uninterrupted through the night . Why? Because I’m not hyper aware of every cracking/popping/tapping sound in a house 7 minutes from a socially unpredictable downtown, which wakes me daily around 3:30 in the morning, then keeps me anxious until daylight peaks through the curtain and I feel it’s safe again to try for sleep.
- I go to the supermarket. A few times a week. And I buy things like radishes, olives, German salami, milk, yoghurt, dishwashing liquid, light bulbs. Crazy right? I couldn’t tell you the last time I went to a food store in my home town and bought anything beyond wine and maybe bacon.
- I go out to my local. Now, this I did back there. But during COVID and since, I stopped. I miss The Mill and the people and the conversations … but I just don’t feel a place there anymore, at least not yet.
- I wear slippers. What a wonder. To not be barefooted.
- I go to church. Well, okay, I visit cathedrals.
- I eat homemade meals.
- Monday through Friday, I am the first person “in the office.” This one I’m absolutely owning, even though it has everything to do with the fact that I’m 5 hours ahead of my co-workers and work on their standard time not mine.
- I worry less about my being, my heart beat, and my catholic guilt … and am more inclined to occupy my time marvelling at birds gliding on the fresh sea air breeze.
- I watch new movies and new tv shows.
- I literally stop to smell the roses, then take pictures of flowers in other people’s gardens.