Saturday, September 10, 2011

The New Normal

It's funny how quickly three weeks can reset your "normal" view of things. Life in Florida for the past sixteen years had me convinced that rainy, sixty degree days qualified as winter weather. My stay-at-home-mom routine consisted of at least one daily outing, lest I succumb to cabin fever, and my day always began with a morning phone call to my mother. My new normal, though not exciting, is beginning to take shape. And, as is life wherever one lives, there are things I truly enjoy and things that are *this close* to pushing me over the edge to full-fledged crazy.

I am learning not to waste sunny days and sixty degree weather. When the sun is out the kiddo and I are becoming brave enough to venture out with the jogging stroller and GPS-enabled cell phone to explore our new home. We've walked downtown, to the local grocery store, to feed the ducks, and to the playground.  I enjoy the exercise. I enjoy the conversations Gracie and I have. After all, she's one of the few people I know here who is a native English speaker. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment in successfully navigating to our location and eventually getting back up the hill to our house.

I am immensely enjoying the Bible study I've started attending. Gracie naps on the couch in our living room, so I can't default to mindless television viewing during naptime. There's only so much time you can waste on Facebook when all of your friends are six hours behind you, so I'm making more of my day by spending time in God's Word and the Twelve Extraordinary Women we're reading about.

I'm learning to enjoy cooking real food with real ingredients again. I didn't realize how strong my reliance on convenience food and dining out had become, especially right before we moved, but neither is a viable option in Sweden.  Though some convenience foods are available at the local ICA Maxi Supermarket, I can't read the labels to clearly identify the ingredients and my fear of accidental seafood ingestion keeps me from purchasing them.  Restaurant dining in Sweden is decidedly expensive, relegating it rightfully to an occasional indulgence.

Today seemed to sum up these new things I'm enjoying. I woke early, checked my email, Facebook, and US News in that order (priorities...), prayed for my family, and avoided walking on our creaky wooden floors until Gracie called for me from her bed. We enjoyed a breakfast of Multi-Cheerios, cleaned the house, and prepped dinner. We took two slices of bread to feed 80 ducks in the pond up the hill (my thoughts at the time were a mix between the loaves and fishes miracle and Hitchcock's The Birds), and then spent an hour at the Stadsparks Playground. We returned for lunch, Skyped with my parents, ordered a moss green slipcover for the couch (we had a run in with an orange crayon on the white rental couch yesterday), took a nap (worked on my Bible study) and then made some brownies.  

I know it's not exciting, but it's fulfilling.  I made my daughter happy.  I took care of my home.  And now I'm going to bed feeling content. Besides a quick chat with my mother and a sleeping dog at my feet, what more could one ask for?

1 comment:

  1. love reading about your adventures, some simple, some not so simple! i miss you and gracie. i'm glad you're making the most of life in sweden. treasure the slowness of your life right now, it is a gift!