All Change

So a week ago, I wanted to write and tell you about the crazy night we’d had.  In fact I had so many other things going on too…bubbling up and running over…and wanted to let them all blog out of me.

Then it got a little hard to get to the PC.

And then I got a little shy…am feeling terribly nervous at the moment about social networking and blogging, and blabbing too much about my world and plastering it all over the web…not that many people read my meanderings, but it is still out there right?  So I took a wee break.  Sorta.

Still musing about all that.

But had to tell you some stuff anyway…can’t help myself.

1.  Last Wednesday night was MAD.  First – we moved to STL just after it was declared the Murder Capital of the USA (think that honour yoyos between several faded-glory urban areas) and so prepared ourselves for regular exposure to shoot-em-out gangsta culture.  Mercifully, it has been pretty quiet.  In fact, apart from emerging from Blueberry Hill on Halloween in 2008 to discover a local cop had just been shot in his car outside the Starbucks opposite, it has been totally tame.  For that we are grateful.  So last week, when we were clambering into bed at 10.30pm, it was a bit of a shock to hear shots ring out in rapid fire just a few doors down from us.  We are none the wiser as to cause and effect, but it did give us a bit of a reality check.  THEN – at 3.30am there was the most incredible thunderstorm.  At this time of year they are loud, long and full of non-stop lightening.  Of course the baby woke up – but he wasn’t scared, just awake, for two hours!!  So we lay around listening to nature’s tempest.  Here is the neighbourhood the next day – you’d think nothing had happened.  But it was a NIGHT!

2. The baby has finally changed from a two naps a day guy to a one nap a day guy – a little early I think, he is only 16mths.  But like all these things, it has been on his cue.  I just read the signals and gently alter what we do a little to suit his changing needs.  He is sleeping much better all round (he’s been pretty good really anyway), so getting him into bed for naps and bed is currently a dream (I know, just a phase, but I am enjoying it for what it is worth.)  But I realise now that I MISS that extra sleep.  I have to bustle around and get two meals (lunch and dinner) in one, often short, sleep.  So online time and crafty mama time is really suffering.  But I do love the time to get out and about in the afternoon (yes, our little weirdling is sleeping in the late morning, not the afternoon like most kids…apparently it is what happens with some children…who’d have thought?) and we are enjoying the sunny playground afternoons.  Here is sleepyhead just after his one nap of the day:

3. We have a destination!  This past month or two has been quite a rollercoaster ride.  However, I can now report that Akira has accepted a position at a university in Scotland and we will be relocating there in the Autumn.  It means I will spend this last summer here hanging out with Kazuo, rather than trying to take up paid employment, which will be nice for all concerned I think.  Our new location will be a permanent move for us, so we can look at starting to put down some roots.  I am really looking forward to being by the coast again.  We are all very happy about this move.  But we have made so many good friends in STL, so it will be a sad parting…we have a summer to enjoy more picnics and loveliness like this – come join us:

I Did It!

In case you missed it, (though with such relentless output from me, how could you not notice?),  November was National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) for me.  I joined up a month ago and I pledged to post religiously all month.

So I saturated the blogosphere with my inanity. Sorry.

A month on, what have I learned about me and blogging?

  • Although it was good to have to think daily about recording my various responses to the world about me, and somewhat unifying to take a theme (I – predictably I guess – chose Gratitude), I do think that many of the posts were even more banal than usual.  But then, maybe one or two were better… perhaps I got in the swing a little?  On the whole though, it was a little bit of a reductive process, which suggests to me I’d be no good at being a full-time writer who had to discipline herself daily to commit to generating words.
  • I don’t think that I have time in my daily life to make blogging some kind of ultimate priority.  At times sleep or sanity were sacrificed to getting the post done… and that is not a recipe for sustainability.
  • Although I may not have anything scintillating to say even on a good day, I do prefer to just blog as the whim takes me – much the same way as I write in my personal journals.  That way the pressure to perform is removed and pleasure in the process remains.
  • Sometimes the thought of the blog lurking in the background has reduced my experience of certain events to bloggable-topic style reflections, and this seems a little wrong somehow.

It was a good experiment – and who knows, maybe I might even have made it through the lottery of NaBloPoMo and may even win a prize… but that was not the motivation that kept me going.  As with anything, it was the accepting the challenge and then wanting to carry through.

I am grateful to all who have read my musings so far and especially to those of you who have left comments.  I have developed a habit now (though hopefully not an unhealthy obsession) so I will be back here again soon, though in the next couple of weeks there is a lot going on with our preparation to get to London for the holidays, so it might be a bit of a quiet time.


How About Lists…

On a more cheery note, this week I discovered that on 29 July, How About Orange – one of my fav design/craft blogs – has a link to Vale Design‘s wonderful printable lists:


I am a bit of a list geek and so I immediately downloaded them all and printed them out to adorn my fridge and office space.  I am now having great joy filling out my Pain in the Groceries to Buy List for this afternoon’s foray to Schnucks, and have lots of lovely ticks (though not enough for my liking just yet) on the Freakin’ Never Ending To Do List… never ending… sigh.  So lovely!

Into the New Year

Well, I am hoping to make this year one of purposeful productivity, even if it is beginning in a sort of sluggish manner. Of course there is no real accounting for the impact of another person who needs all my attention on this goal… but I think it is time to consider just what I want from the year ahead.

I am one for resolutions… and so I have been searching in vain for my list from last year. Maybe it is a good idea, as one blogger I saw today has done, to make a list of what I have managed to achieve, or become grateful for over the past year, as that may just clarify where to go next…

1. Extracted myself from an overly-life-consuming job.
2. Moved to another new country and pretty much made ourselves at home… a slightly more complicated process than moving the UK in 2001, but done in quite a precipitous manner, so all-in-all, fairly successful.
3. Managed to keep to a budget much more successfully than ever before, owing to the necessity of not having an income, so having to be very careful.
4. Kitted out a new apartment and then latterly, a baby-friendly environment on very reduced finances, with the help of Craigslist and the wonders of thrift stores.
5. Revived my creative impulses by re-teaching myself to knit, and sewing as much as I could to make a cosy home and some lovely treats for the impending baby.
6. Kept in touch (albeit sporadically) with friends and family in the four corners of the world – would like to do a better job of that in future though.
7. Returned to my activist roots and got more politically active than I had been for years with Amnesty International and the Voter Protection Coalition.
8. Kept up regular exercise for as long as was practical with the increasing demands of pregnancy… remained healthy-ish throughout.
9. Made an effort… and have been very gratefully rewarded… to make some friends in my new home. Loving the joys of meeting new people.
10. Got a little more creative in the kitchen… the benefits of having days free to dream up new ways to cook potatoes!
11. Saw a lot of new music… and even a little dance and theatre, though do feel the lack of that part of my life, London and Yorkshire were amazing for the theatre, I was so spoiled.
12. Became a less-uptight person generally, that I think was good for married life, hoping that is not just a result of pregnancy hormones, but rather a new emotional maturity! (Or perhaps a result of not working… hmmmm…)
13. Engaged in more charity and voluntary activities than I had time to do in the UK – hope this can continue, though working unpaid work around an infant is going to be a challenge.
14. Figured out how to drive on the other side of the road – thought this might be beyond my geriatric brain, but it feels like I have been doing it all my life.
15. Made more use of digital technology – though not sure if that has been an entirely productive part of my life!

So… a few things to muse upon as I consider just where to now for 2009. I always think it is exciting to have the untapped possibility of a whole year ahead… there will be challenges and hurdles, but on the whole, I am looking forward to mapping out what I might like to do with more Not Working time…