Ten days ago we were finishing up our packing and double checking that we had passports and tickets. Ten days ago we had not experienced the beauty that is London, experienced life in a fourth floor flat after walking miles daily, experienced tube rides and double decker bus rides and cab rides combined with walking miles daily, enjoyed dinner with baby girl in an open air market (after walking miles) while she talked about life in London and a planned trip to Italy. Ten days was way too short a time to truly experience London, even if we walked more than we do in a month at home!
Now we go back to the real world, with ten days of email and phone calls to catch up on, ten days of mail to sort through, ten days of going-ons to be apprised of. Ten days that seemed like no time at all while we were in London will suddenly seem like forever while trying to get caught up. No tea time, no nap time, no tubes, no baby girl. Just me and my honey, trying to remember how to behave in the real world, and wondering which tube station we have to walk a mile to before catching the underground to work. Or taking the 25 steps out to the car in the driveway.
We are visiting our daughter in London this week, and I figured out very quickly that my prior experiences of life might have been helpful, if I had actually accessed them in my memory banks rather than assuming! What I have learned from 2 days in London…
Fourth floor flat – this does not necessarily mean there will be an elevator! Lovely little flat, but holy moly, fourth floor means a lot of very steep steps!
When maps says to turn down a street that doesn’t look like a street, pay closer attention! A lot of those alleys are actually streets – and short cuts!
1/2 mile walk does not necessarily equal 1/2 mile – especially if you ignore the alleys that are actually streets. 12,099 steps and 5 miles by noon! Wow!
Going out in search of breakfast at 8:30 AM on a Saturday gets you nothing but grocery stores. When you just buy groceries and head home, all of the breakfast joints start opening – at 9am.
Trying to pick up take away lunch at 11:30 to take home with you gets you nothing but breakfast foods. Back to the grocery store, and all the lunch places open at noon on the way home.
Climbing 4 flights of steep stairs after walking 5 miles… I wonder if the pizza hut next door would let me lay down under their tables?
Going to the local chippie for dinner requires more thought than should be assumed. How hard could it be to order fish and chips? Unless you know the difference between cod, haddock, plaice, skate, and a few other choices, it isn’t that hard!
And back up the steps!
I will either spend this week bored because I won’t leave the flat (not the steps again) or I will be very fit and toned from all of the walking – if somewhat lame from the blisters!
At least the view is fabulous from the flat.
One week ago today I was packing for a road trip, with a car loaded with cleaning supplies, mostly finished quilts, and one Grandma and Aunt Susie. Anxiety was high, and we pushed to get to our destination, driving long hours and working on quilts during hotel stops.
Now it is a week later. The quilts are done and delivered, and the look on two little girls’ faces were priceless. The car is empty of cleaning supplies and is now loaded with one bug bitten Grandma, one sunburned Aunt Susie, a snake, an axolotl, a rosemary plant, a sprouting avocado, and several orchids. Muscles are sore, but anxiety is way down! It’s an acceptable trade.
This week we were eaten alive by fleas, and smothered in SO many hugs and kisses from twincesses. We encountered huge spiders and caterpillars, as well as friends who offered to help however they could. We hauled trash, but not as much as the amazing yard crew who saved us from many more trips and back breaking lifting. We ate lots of take-out, some better than others, and we had an amazing meal (and excellent company) at a dear friend’s restaurant. And did I mention the hugs and kisses from the twincesses?
So now we can take our time heading home, wandering down to Tampa to drop off the snake and meet the grand pup. We can travel back to Texas to set up a new tank for Fluffy the axolotl. And we can do it smiling and reminiscing about hugs and kisses and childhood joy.
What a difference a week can make!
This week I am taking a detour, spending the week closing up the house of someone I love who has to be away for awhile. There are so many thoughts running through my mind! Life is full of choices, and sometimes the most seemingly innocuous choice can have extremely huge consequences. That tiny little choice has a huge ripple effect, ending with a tidal wave of consequences that impact so many people.
It makes me wonder about choices I have made in my life, decisions I thought were little ones. I know full well I didn’t think through all of the possible consequences, didn’t always consider who would feel the impact. So how do I change that?
I am picturing this huge flow chart for every decision I make. If, then, unless, except, when the moon is in the seventh hour! My brain isn’t wired that way.
It is going to take a concerted effort on my part, with some intentional thought processing and pondering, to help my brain get wired that way. The people I love deserve it.
Tonight I decided to try a novel idea – going to bed instead of working on projects until way too late! I very proudly put away the project that has been my obsession for months.
And instead, I laid in bed, thinking of all the projects I should have been working on instead! I am not sure how creating mental to do lists, thinking of items for the kanban board, and trying to prioritize in my brain was supposed to be more restful than cleaning up an online course that is so close to being finished.
Hmmm, maybe I am going about this “time for bed” thing all wrong… maybe when I put away my laptop for the night, I should leave my brain in the living room as well. Then maybe the hamster wheel would stop turning.
Or maybe I should just go back to my personalized professional development course creation. It was more restful than my current bedtime “resting”!