Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Lovely Life, A Slow Life

Friends,  we are doing pretty well.   We have moments of greatness-- where routines are clicking, people are smiling and we are relishing in the quietness of this life.   However, at the end of the 7 day stretch of Matt working, it might not be the best time to write about the greatness.*

Tonight I am struck by ideas of convenience.  I have spent much of my working life thinking about how to create systems of organizing and logic to streamline a hectic existence.  I have always worked hard, enjoyed my profession and thought it possible to also have a family.  That meant making frequent accommodations for my time so that I could squeeze as much out of my day as possible.  I would schedule my day into 30 minute blocks (including my personal time) and was never far from my phone in case I got an email I missed while attending to the last 30 minute block.  I know for those of you who don't live like this-it's probably sounds silly to schedule in your family time but for us it worked for a long time.  That is- until James said I was his best nanny. . . . and then things probably should have changed.

Life is so different here that I am still reeling with how to approach this new life. **

I am still spending much of my free time dealing with items related to the transition.   There was so much paperwork and logistics related to this move that I am having a hard time relaxing into life here because the to-do list still looks so much like the one we had in Minnesota.   When I go to set up new things here, I find that the system of operation here somehow reminds me of traveling in Europe.   Many amenities*** are set up in a way that seems totally foreign to me but perfectly natural to people living in Ketchikan.    Here are some examples:

  • The water for our house is collected from the roof.  It is filtered but not well enough that people drink it-- just bath, brush teeth, do laundry with it.  Which means that purchasing water is now on our grocery list.  
  • I wanted to join the gym-- which is great, but the best way to do that is to find 10 friends and sign up together as a team.  Super convenient when you just moved to town. 
  • There is one utility company in town-- they pass along with your electric bill a tax for the garbage.  However, there isn't actually garbage collection automatically.  You can arrange that yourself for an additional charge but most people take their garbage directly to the landfill. We are having ours picked up but we need to drive it to a place where the truck can get it. . . and we have already learned the hard lesson of what 'nature' can do to garbage that is not super secured/sealed down.  Bears are hibernating but we are told that they will take your entire garbage can away.
  • They don't recycle at above landfill-- but there are two places to drop off your recyclables-- but they are different depending on what you recycle; cardboard and aluminum are at one site while glass is at another.
  • The house is heated by oil and fireplace. The second option is not really one. . . because the fireplace gets very hot and we have children with a muted sense of survival.  Oil it is!  (Different company provides this. . .) 
  • There is one road to and from town.  The school bus leaves town at 2:30 and stops every 100 yards to do a drop.  It's best to avoid going home during these times.
  • There is no postal delivery, instead we have a post-office with a PO box.  We have been checking mail a couple times a week. 
  • The basement floods-- it's built accordingly but our basement storage is decked out in rubbermaid for when there is a high tide. 
  • The driveway.  This deserves it's own post. Let's just say that I am getting my work-outs in even without the gym membership.  
I think more than anything I am realizing how many times I tapped into the convenience of things simply because they were such times savers and so darn. . . well, convenient.   Things take longer to do and my days are filled with herding kids, doing laundry, organizing meals and keeping the trains moving on time.  There is a lot more thought needed to get the necessary accomplished but I don't totally mind it.  What I find odd though is just how busy I feel despite the fact that I have so much less on my plate.  The deception might just be that the slow life isn't all that slow always.****  I don't know if I thought I would be staring off into the ocean and dusting off my zen practice but I haven't found a way to get there yet.

I do feel content in this little life-- taking things slower, enjoying the process more.   Mostly, except when I need to find 8 friends so that I can use a weight room.

*What I can say is that we are doing much better at the end of the week then we were at the beginning of the week!  We are stuck at the house right now as the driveway is too slick to drive up and down.  The kids all got to try school out at the end of the week so at least we got out a few days this week and got a feel for the new schedule.

** I still check my phone every 30 minutes to see if I got any pressing emails in the last few minutes.  It turns out the answer is almost always no.  Let me re-think- the answer is always no.  Old habits die hard.

***I must be tired because I misspelled that three times. . . anonomone, annnnnonononome, anemone Don't hurt yourself.

**** Part of this is self imposed.  I am purposely taking a longer path at times because that is what I want from this little life.  Book your travel now folks, the cafe is serving home made bread and has an ocean view.  

1 comment:

  1. I so relate to the things you wrote above. It definitely reminds me of the challenges of overseas living - when nothing makes logical sense and the simplest bill takes hours to pay. I feel you. Hang in there. Thinking of you guys!