I have a sneaking suspicion about my “new self” down here in the deep south… I think I’m becoming a recluse. It’s January 20th. Since arriving home on January 1st after a trip to Orlando with friends, my household (mainly me) has been sick on an off for three weeks. I didn’t even want to talk about it, but yes, my husband and I are sick yet again. It’s embarrassing at this point. I heard that the cold and flu season this year is terrible, but now I can attest to it personally. In all of the maladies I won’t describe here, I think I have left my house maybe 5 or 6 times in 20 days. We are rapidly approaching recluse territory here.
I know I sound like a broken record here, but hear me out. The scary part is I haven’t even really been that stir crazy. Usually if I’m home too much I am scratching at the walls until I can escape, but not this time. As I said before, where would I go? Every time I leave my house I am reminded that I am in a new strange town, with little idea of where to go to just wander around, or when I do go outside, it stinks (literally). I joked before I got here that I would just hole myself up inside my house and pretend I wasn’t living in Florida, and without consciously doing so, that’s what I’ve done!
In our old town (still and forever to be referred to as “home”), we had the most adorable downtown area that looked like a little European village. It had antique shops, cute boutiques, cafes, and the best pastry shop you’ll ever visit. And adjacent to the main street was a park, a marina and a little trail that led to a grassy park by the bay. This grassy park had a baby swing that I would take Claire to very often when I was feeling the walls closing in on us at home. Our routine was to put her in the stroller, stop at a cafe and grab a coffee for myself (even when money is tight, I figure if all I purchase that day is a cup of coffee then I’m still being frugal. My logic is sound.), walk the main street and peek in the windows, then make our way through the park and to the baby swing. Sometimes I would lay a blanket down and bring some toys and let Claire crawl around and discover the grass and the leaves, or I’d take her down to the water and dip her toes in the water. It was the best way to spend an afternoon together, and the best part was this idyllic spot was less than ten minutes from our house.
That might be one of the things I miss most about home. There is a similar kind of place in this town, the “historical district” that does have some shops and cafes, but it is not as quaint, is about 20 minutes from our house, and let’s not forget it’s hot and muggy out. I much prefer air conditioning to this humidity, and my hair hasn’t quite figured out how to deal with this new climate.
And so we hibernate. Perhaps I would be more adventurous if I haven’t been continuously knocked down several pegs by being constantly sick this month. But I feel like it’s more than my weakened immune system. My spirit isn’t even eager to leave my house because it doesn’t quite know what to do with itself either yet. At least at home we are around the things that make us comfortable and that feel familiar; every time we step outside, we are thrown out of our comfort zone and sense of familiarity, and we just aren’t sure what to do with that.
For all my whining, I do know it will get better with time. I do know we will get used to things. And I do know now that it’s ok to give in to these feelings I have right now. If I just need to hibernate for a while until I figure out what to do with myself, then I will. I will eventually brave the 20 minute drive to the shops and cafes that make me happy, and I will learn of some spots to take Claire to when we just need to leave the house. And maybe the silver lining to dealing with this flu (aside from an iron clad immune system, I’m hoping), is that it has forced me to be home and to think, and rest, and recover for a while. Perhaps it’s not such a bad thing. My body needs to recover from illness, but I think my spirit was in need of recovery as well. This move has been so hard on all of us.
I’m realizing that all of my posts so far have been like a weekly therapy session, when I really do have plans for projects, cooking and maybe even some weekly French lessons. I hope anyone reading this stays tuned for those… Once I am fully recovered and have the energy, I have plans for this blog! Aside from the free therapy sessions it offers me. Do you have experience facing a big move in your life too? How did you cope with it? I would love some feedback!