I have been struggling to get back to blogging these last few months. Obviously. I've been waiting for things to settle down, get better, seem real, seem like home. And they're not, really. Things are very up and down and my perspective is all out of whack these days.
Perspective. That's the tricky thing I've been working on over here. Because I know that the idea of moving to Europe, no matter how temporary, from an American standpoint sounds all fairytale-like. You know-- how exciting, see the world, pointy cathedrals and castles and history so thick and deep you can smell it--- kind of thing. And it's that, sure, but it also has this flip-side every day living sort of reality where it's just not all fluffy and fantastic. It's just plain hard most days.
I've been letting my perspective issues hold me back from blogging because I thought maybe I could get my head screwed on straight, but I see now that it's going to be a process that just doesn't happen overnight. Meanwhile, life and motherhood and homeschooling continue on. I mean, that IS life isn't it? We're always rolling with the punches or at least taking them and having to get back up and press onward.
So, I'm going to rant a little and try to get past this sort of awkward little bump in my reality. Okay? Good. This is how we're going to do it. The happy, idealistic, fairy-tale believer in me is going to make one fluffy statement, and then the melancholic, realistic, beaten-down part of me is going to make a counter statement. Got it? Great. Let's begin.
Europe is amazing!
How great that we have the chance to have real immersion in a foreign language.
OMG, I can't understand anything anyone says to me.
There are so many new and exciting foods to try.
Ugh, who would want to eat horses and cheese that smells like someone's old, decaying butt?
Public transportation is so accessible here.
Why does it have to take all day to get anywhere!
It's so beautiful.
Well, well... yeah, so what?!
So it's beautiful. I'm trying to concentrate on that, rather than the fact that my kids seem to be having major adjustment issues and we have no homeschooling community. I'm trying to focus on the lovely wood-grain on the staircase as I lug my groceries up several flights of stairs. I'm trying to really appreciate the ornate architecture and detailed sculptures while all hell breaks loose with my kids because things aren't just mildly different, they are over the top. And most days are just plain trials.
We have moved around a lot. And it's always hard at first. There is always this period of missing friends or old neighborhoods, favorite restaurants or stores or products. There is always this period of feeling lost or lonely or displaced... this surrealness when we wake up and don't know where we are because things are just new and not yet firmly planted in our subconsciousness. But this moving here... it's all that times a thousand.
It's not just that people speak a different language here. I mean, they do, sure, and I had no idea exactly how different Swiss German was from high German, but now I know. Worlds different. So there's that. But the food is different. The laws are different. We can't just run our dishwasher when we get around to it, I have to plan because there are noise ordinances. Same for laundry. Same for grocery shopping. It takes all day to buy groceries-- well, for us it does. And I have to remember that certain stores close for lunch, don't stay open late, and hardly anything is open on Sunday. And since we have food allergies and diet restrictions, I have to stop and try to decipher the ingredients on everything we buy. And to remember, always remember, that I can only buy as much as I can carry and still manage to keep three kids from getting sucked under the trams, trains or smashed by passing motorists.
Which is not a pretty thought, obviously. There are so many things I could just be down about if I chose to let myself, like how difficult it is to figure out new medicines, health care systems, banking systems, transportation systems... the lack of recognizable vitamin supplements, the high costs of gosh, just about everything... so much stuff I could drown in it if I wasn't careful.
So I'm working on it. It's indisputably amazingly beautiful here, but perspective is a tricky thing.