One of the reasons I left the Commonwealth Government after my posting to East Timor was because I craved normality.
Life in Dili was pretty stressful – busy work days and less of the usual home comforts. I know this is something people in developing nations deal with all of the time, and I know I shouldn’t be complaining about a few years here and there ‘without’. (#Ungratefulmuch?!)
But I just wanted to be able to go to a grocery store. Or belong to a gym. I used to pour over the entertainment sections of old Australian newspapers deciding what shows or plays I would see… If I could.
When I first moved back to Australia I was ridiculously excited by public transport. Needless to say, that novelty didn’t last long. Similarly I really didn’t make the most of everything suddenly being on my doorstep…. But you get the point.
It’s a no-brainer that almost all of us only want what we don’t, or can’t, have. The grass is always greener… yadda yadda yadda.
I’ve long lived alone. I crave alone-time. When I worked full-time I *occasionally* happily avoided seeing or speaking to anyone between leaving work on a Friday and returning on a Monday.
However, post-seachange, things have changed. As I mostly work from home I spend a lot of time alone. At my desk. Which is – unfortunately – in my bedroom. I’ve possibly mentioned before that I’ve worked out that I spend about 18-20hrs a day in my bedroom – between my desk and my bed. (The remaining four-six hours are divided evenly between chores, the bathtub – reading, and in front of the TV).
While I never get lonely. I do get antsy. I crave normality. I crave the mundane and the things that many others take for granted. (Just, I’m sure… as others envy my nightly baths and dinners on the sofa in front of TV with no one else to hog the remote control!)
Obviously time with family and friends help ground us and having my mother (family) in a nearby town has made a big difference to my life. Sometimes, I tell her, I just want to go and hang out with her in my childhood home. We don’t need to do ‘stuff’. It’s just that sense of normality – or a different type of normality – I crave.
I’ve talked here a lot about my friend KangaRue and her adorable son Pickle. Indeed, the (now) three year old has featured in a post or two.
Fortunately we’re good friends so KangaRue doesn’t think it’s weird that I’ve tagged along to a couple of his swimming lessons in the recent past. (In fact I’m thinking of asking if I can go again soon.)
I know many parents detest having to sit through such swimming or gym or ballet classes each week, but for me it’s like a breath of fresh air. It’s something real. Something normal.
In my little self-absorbed universe it’s easy to forget there’s life outside. Watching Pickle’s swimming lesson reminds me that there’s something outside of my blogging and my need to earn money and pay bills. I know some of what I appreciate is Pickle’s (and indeed most children’s) sense of wonderment and awe and I’m reminded of an old post about infusing some play into our day.
But – for me – it’s not even about fun. It’s just an escape from my world into someone else’s. Someone else’s normal.
Do you find calm, normality or joy in the mundane or unusual?
Linking up for IBOT with Essentially Jess today.