My normal rhythms of daily life are, predictably, not present in this abnormal year of travel. Specific differences include:
1. A different sense of time. I no longer know right off the top of my head exactly what day it is. Are we having a Monday or a Wednesday? I’m not even sure of the date. Fortunately, I can look that stuff up whenever necessary. Although, I do feel unmoored, ever so slightly, when I realize I have no stinking clue about something so basic as the day and date. Prisoners and castaways and lost-at-sea types who scratch tally marks on their walls or boats or whatever? Makes a little more sense now.
2. Sleeping in and skipping lunch. We may be adopting a the European style late dinner. I’m not sure. Actually, we’ve been all over the place when it comes to bedtimes and thus we sleep later, eat breakfast but no lunch, and then have a later than normal-for-our-Maryland-life dinner.
3. Just sleep. Some beds are more conducive to sleep than others. Speaking personally, the beds I had in Athens, in Waterville, Co. Kerry, and here in Donore have been the best. Not like home, but not back-aching, either. We're also going to bed later, since the sun sets over an hour later here than at home. The kids are too old to be put to bed before dark now, so we're facing 10 p.m. or later bedtimes for them.
4. Bodily rhythms. Let me just share that everything is fine but noticeably different. Heat, dehydration, dietary and sleep changes all must play a part. Yes, we do have family poop talks. You can thank Theo’s exposure to Peace Corps volunteers for that.
5. Activity. Some days, I take eleventy-thousand steps. Not quite, but I take a lot. Other days, not so much. In Istanbul, we were highly engaged and motivated to complete our daily air squats, sit-ups and push-ups. In Paros, we were slightly engaged. I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but in Athens, I haven’t done squat(s, or pushups or sit-ups). In Kerry, our hiking was more strenuous than our city walks, but we've certainly not resumed our exercises.
6. Movie quotes and song lyrics. “If you can’t handle me blurting out movie quotes related to something you just said, I don’t know how we can be friends.” You’ve seen that someecard, right? That, um, quality of mine has been on overdrive since we began this trip. I can’t seem to walk into an ice cream shop without hearing Forrest Gump offer Lt. Dan a scoop. And it’s not just movie quotes; it’s song lyrics, too (see above post title). It seems like so many comments and questions and sights and so forth are jogging my memory for these things. I must say, I’m enjoying it!
7. Togetherness. At home, I say goodbye to Theo between 8 and 9 a.m., say goodbye to my children by 9:15 a.m., and have the house and day to myself until 3:30 p.m., at which time Zoe returns home and her sisters follow an hour later. Theo is home by 6:30 or 7 p.m. As for Michelle, we only see each other when we're handing off the kids to her for babysitting and when she's handing them back. So, we've had three weeks of increased togetherness, and that is a whole new rhythm. Sometimes it sounds and feels fun and pleasant like a nice jazz swing; other times feel more chaotic and heavy on the cymbal crash.
8. On the move. We started with a 7-night stint, then two 4-nighters, then 3 one-nighters, a two-nighter, and now a 6-night stay. Getting to Istanbul from D.C. took about 14 hours; getting to Naoussa from Istanbul took longer. It took four modes of transportation across two solid days of travel to go from Athens to our first Kerry Way accommodations, and it took about 5 hours of driving to get to Meath from Kerry. As I made that drive from the west coast of Ireland to the east, I had a very vivid daydream of my house. In my reverie I was sitting in my living room, in my favorite spot on the couch, in the corner next to the window, where I can put my feet up and do some writing while noticing the cars and people passing by and soaking up the sun. It was the first thought of home like that I'd had since moving out a month ago. Today, I found myself here and wondered if that vision was more premonition than flashback: