If you saw my tweet last week, the blog was temporarily put on the back burner due to friends and family in town. Every second I wasn’t with the kids, I was racing to soak up time with my parents and friend Bonnie. This little break, however, provided yummy research for posts as I dined at some very delicious spots.
Before I get back into the food, I’d like to address my life right now. Casual, I know. As “emo” and deep as this may sound, I’ve come to realize that Paris is where I’m supposed to be right now. Never in my life have I been more sure about anything. I used to be the queen of homesick so when I say that I’m not homesick, it’s a very bold statement.
My friend Kathleen will be the first one to tell you that I always want to be where I’m not. In college I was always looking forward to being home again, but once I was home I would count down the seconds until going back at school. I used to find myself obsessively stalking my calendar; crossing out days as they passed by until my next move. One time at soccer camp, my friend Emma and I even concocted a desperate homemade calendar using Peptobismol as our countdown stamp. We were 14 years old and attending camp for five days. Pathetic, eh?
My point is this: I’m not counting down days in Paris. For the first time, I’m living in the present and embracing every minute of it. The planner in me hasn’t even planned weekend trips around Europe yet. Now I don’t want to piss off everyone back at home working their butt off from 9 to 5, but having most of the day to yourself during the week is liberating. Sunday used to be my least favorite day of the week. In college, Sundays were committed to extracurricular obligations, group project meetings, procrastination and anxiety for what was to come each week. I would stare at my planner and cringe as I mapped out a plan to navigate my internship and classes, while devoting free time to studying and projects so I could reward myself with a social life.
Sunday is my new favorite day. It’s now a day of reflection, rest and anticipation for what is to come in the next seven days. Yesterday, I slept in after a night out, treated myself to a big four cheese pizza (which probably clocked 3,000 calories according to my beloved friend Megan, who reminded me as I was inhaling it…thanks Megan!), and laid around my apartment catching up with friends via Skype and watching Dawson’s Creek (yes I found it online for free). There was no anxiety as I went to sleep about what needed to be accomplished the next day. That, my friends, is a beautiful thing.
I’m not saying life is that easy, folks. Believe or not, it is just as stressful to take care of four girls as it is to make a deadline at work. Some of you may laugh, but I’m clocking in up to three hours (minimum) of walking per day just to get the little ones to their sports practices and appointments. Once they’re home, I’m responsible for having them organized and washed up for dinner while I put dinner on the table and make sure the house is spotless. I’m enjoying every second, but it’s definitely a daily challenge. I’ve been using my planner like never before; balancing multiple schedules while attempting to please four sets of taste buds each night. There’s a reason people say that being a mom is a job. Now I’m by no means the girls’ mom, but for about 30 hours per week, I’m subbing in.
You probably want to vomit after listening to me go goo goo gah gah over my life in Paris right now but I wanted to publish this happiness because I’m now a firm believer that in this fast-paced world that we live in, it is important for each and every one of us to reward ourselves with time off from the hectic expectations and routine. Whether it’s time off after college or a break in between jobs, do it. Reward yourself from the two decades of studying, recharge your batteries, revel in something new and figure out where you want to take your life.
Carpe diem. I’m not sleeping in every morning and moping around doing nothing during my spare time. Instead, I’m filling the time to myself with reading, blogging and seeing another side of the world. I’m here for a year and it’s going to be one hell of a productive one.