Last week went amazingly well, complete turnaround from the mess I was the week before. Drew has now been to three days of school and loves it. Because of the few kids we have seen in his class, we now ‘recognize’ some families when we are out and about and, for some reason, that is one way that I really start to feel a sense of belonging and of being an actual part of my community.
We tried a story time at the local library on Wednesday, which was very similar to past programs in Lafayette, and we enjoyed chatting with one of Drew’s classmate’s family. On Thursday we tried a new playgroup, and that was great as well. Seems like a fun group of women and a nice outlet for the kids. On Friday, both boys started up swim lessons again, with the same company we had been using previously in the Redlands. As much as I liked that pool and those lessons, this pool and these instructors were just slightly better, which was great. The boys are really getting fun to watch in the pool. Drew can actually somewhat swim and, after this lesson the teacher realized that he needs to move up, so this coming Friday he will be in a different class. Zach, who has enjoyed swimming with us, to play, has generally seemed to despise any sort of structure whatsoever, and typically refuses to participate in an organized program whether it is in a swim lesson, story time, music time, etc. However, in this class, he suddenly did everything he was told, with a smile on his face the entire time—it was great!
So, we just started to figure out a little pattern of how our days would go up here—I had also started organizing myself on which days I would get which cleaning and shopping chores done and have been successfully getting us all fed in this new kitchen and navigating new shops. Then, out of nowhere, a friend approaches me about a job offer! Whoa! I hadn’t even started thinking that way yet, still have so much to figure out related to getting settled—some childcare for Zach, maybe a gym to join, etc. I also think a lot about the many varied interests I have and how this move might be the opportunity to start exploring some of them (i.e. nursing school, learning to teach kids’ yoga, becoming a fitness instructor, getting a little job at a local bakery). This offer is marketing again, but for a construction company, a field I have never had an interest in or known much of anything about. However, after the conversation about it, I just started to think about ‘real’ employment in another country, dressing professionally two days a week again, taking the train into the city, using my brain in a way it used to be used, socializing with other professionals about topics that aren’t related to me as a mommy…. and it just started to sound quite appealing.
Another factor—we have been pricing flights to the U.S. and this coming trip is going to be a whopper, just to get there and back. It made us decide this is not the year for us to go to Melbourne—this move has just cost too much and maybe that airline folding and cancelling our flights was a blessing in disguise to save us spending money where we shouldn’t. I have to admit I was devastated to cancel it—-we used to take overnight trips a lot before we moved to Australia, thanks in part to my parents’ place in the mountains, but also for little weekend ski trips, camping trips, short road trips, and we have not spent a single night away from ‘home’ since we got here. I am a bit fried from trying not to spend too much money and cooking and cleaning so much and was REALLY looking forward to a week’s break from that grind. But, we need to be smart about it, and that break will come in June, and hopefully we can try a less expensive weekend trip within driving distance sometime before then.
All that said, the option to make a bit of money is very appealing. It sounds a bit too good to be true—like I could just work the days Drew is already in school, make somewhat close to as much per hour as I made as a Marketing Director in Boulder, leave the work in the office—-am I dreaming? I will explore the company and offer more next week and am also working on trying to find a good day care for Zach, but this is definitely an exciting new twist to consider.
This past weekend was just really nice. When I was such a mess last week, I tearfully asked Steve if I could have one night off each week from cooking. It sounded funny even when I was asking it, as a bawling mess. He of course agreed (I think relieved at something being so easy to solve!), so at least one night either he will cook, or we will get take out or go out. One fun discovery is that many of these places we plan to frequent are within walking/biking distance, so depending on our schedule’s each day, we can hopefully incorporate more of that.
On Saturday, I’d insisted on getting out to run family errands in the morning by myself, which was lovely. It’s always great to remember what you can get done when you only have yourself to worry about. We also went back to the ‘south side’ as they say here for a friend’s party and it was just great to get out of the house and socialize with new people for a few hours. And on Sunday, the boys slept in, which means we slept in; we enjoyed a leisurely morning and then walked down to the local monthly farmers’ market. It was a gorgeous day and we had a great time being out and all together as a family. We both got to relax some that afternoon (I have finally started a book that my Mom gave me before we left—Winter Garden—and am really enjoying reading) and I got the time to go on a cooking spree that afternoon, which included making us a yummy traditional Australian ‘meat pie’ using steak and mushrooms for dinner that night.
It was a good week.