Now Wonky Cottage (as we’ve fondly named our new home) is connected to the rest of the world, I can finally begin writing about the many things that have happened over the past four weeks. Beginning with a harrowing trip to the Lake District, where I was able to answer some questions I’ve been pondering for some time, and followed by a hectic but wonderful house move, my launch into the world of work, and a difficult period of adjustment (which is still on-going) in which I have suffered the difficult combination of exhaustion and awe within this new world where I suddenly find myself; there are certainly many tales to tell!
Since I still haven’t taken any photos of our house (until this week things were still waiting to be unpacked) and since the holiday snaps are yet to be sorted, I will work backwards with my updating, starting with an account of the shock I am still faced with every day at being a working woman.
Over the past few weeks I’ve learned one of those important life lessons that would have been so precious were it learned a few years earlier. I suppose that the beauty of these lessons (and with that the beauty of existence itself) is that we have no idea, ever, of what life really is like until we have perspective – perspective that can only come with experience beyond our current status. I now know why people appeared so condescending in the past when remarking upon my status as a student. Condescending, patronizing, all-knowing - but for good reason; it was so easy being a student! Had I known this only a few months before, maybe I wouldn’t have worried about getting to the bank before 3pm so I could meet a friend for coffee afterwards. I wouldn’t have been so harsh on myself if I only managed three running sessions in a week, or if I’d been too tired to go out for drinks a third night in a row. Life has suddenly split in two: time which is my own, and time which isn’t. I have a precious hour in the early morning (I have to get up at 5:30 for a 2-hour commute) in which I listen to the dawn news on Radio 4 and enjoy a decadent bowl of porridge (this seems to get bigger every day, and I am getting through honey at an alarming rate), and another precious two hours in the evening, when I sit with Daniel and enjoy a carefully prepared meal (we are using cooking and eating as our main points of contact) before relaxing with a hot tea and some music until bedtime.
Written down like this, life seems very depressing, but it isn’t at all. Life is full and there is so much energy fuelling my days that I’m a little overwhelmed by the possibilities that lie ahead. I learned very early into this new lifestyle that life is not just about the evenings and the free time – every minute of the day is our own, and every minute offers possibilities, so long as we are willing to take them. Through this attitude I am slowly finding some sort of balance, as if career and commute and morning and evening are all there for my pleasure; my time, to use as I please.
These days there is no options of meeting friends for coffee in the daytime, and I have to actually take time off work (and use my precious few days paid holiday) for mundane tasks like a trip to the bank. I have little energy to run more than once a week, and going out on a week night feels like way too much effort when the early start looms ahead. But my student days are over now; a sad but inevitable change, and one which is accompanied by many other joys which were unknown to me as a student. I’m still desperately trying to push life to its outer edges and fit as much into my time as possible, but I see now how my parents manage this, and why they make the compromises they make so that life is as full and as enjoyable as it can be. I’m on a whole new learning curve, and I’m pretty sure that once I’ve learned how to get the balance right I’ll know it straight away!