Over the last few days, I’ve been whining about having reached unsettled saturation point (as has Mr. O). The novelty of plane rides, restaurant food, and particularly packing has worn off. We’re ready to stop clearing security, to cook our own meals again and to put away our suitcases. Yes, this is a #middleclassproblem, and yes it’s exhaustion of our own making. We wanted to travel Europe and visit East Coast friends before taking up residence in our new So Cal home. However. Five weeks of being unsettled is a little much. We complain to each other (and Twitter), but I do try to remind myself how lucky we are to be living the life we do.
When we were in Europe, someone opened fire with a semiautomatic weapon during a midnight screening of a film in a Denver suburb. The “Aurora shooting”, as it is known, devastated countless families whose loved ones were lost or wounded in the seemingly random, and very bizarre incident. Mark and I were both saddened and confused by what happened, and also felt like it was a little too close to home for our liking. Just a few months ago, we were visiting this city and considering it as a possible new home, and it’s scary to realize going to the movies isn’t always safe any more. A couple days later, touring Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in Poland again reminded us how fragile life is. When I whine about the slight chaos we’ve been living in lately, I try to remind myself that I am lucky to be making wonderful memories, seeing people I love, spending quality time with my wonderful husband and that if I did die tomorrow, I would have lived a rich life.
Also in the last few weeks, one of my closest friends was asked to resign from her job. The situation can best be described as a combination of a little poor judgment and lot of bad luck. Thankfully, the incident happened on a day she intended to resign anyway (she had just been offered a dream job elsewhere), but it was certainly not the way she wanted to leave her previous employer. Worse yet, the incident also involved her fiancé; he lost out on a promotion and raise and was worried about being left unemployed. Having your professional world rocked is a pretty upsetting experience, but this couple was even more worried about the financial ramifications. They are still ironing out the discrepancies in their long-term financial goals, so the idea of one of them losing a job was truly terrifying. Watching their world nearly fall apart reminded me again just how lucky I am. Mark and I have always been planners and savers by nature, and I sometimes forget what a huge asset that is compared to our less savings-oriented friends. Our savings account and low cost of living lifestyle mean we aren’t particularly worried about uncertainty or unemployment. Better yet, we are lucky enough to have nearly identical financial ideals, which eliminates a lot of stress or disagreement in our relationship. Again, when I moan about having to eat at restaurants all the time and getting on and off planes, I remind myself how fortunate I am to be travelling the world and taking time out from ‘normal life’.
Our daily “peak and pit” also continually reminds us of our relatively charmed life. Most days, we try to pick the peak and pit of our day (embarrassing confession: this is a habit I picked up from watching the Kardashians). The exercise prompts us to take stock of our day and remember all the wonderful things we’ve done. While our peaks are usually spectacular, our pits are typically something insignificant, which again reminds us to be humble and thankful for the life we lead. When the worst part of your day is a slow data connection or a disappointing salad, you are doing pretty well!
Most people will concede that moving isn’t an easy experience, especially when it’s overseas. While I usually disagree with that notion (because, yes, I actually like packing, shopping and starting over), I do sometimes let my impatience get the better of me and I shouldn’t. I’m glad that when I slip away from my usual positive and forward-thinking tendencies, the world is always there to remind me just how good I’ve got it.