Loving Lima but missing the routines of home
For those that are slaving away at work or perhaps dropping the kids off at school right now (that was me this time last year by the way), you are probably thinking how on earth could I be missing the routines of home, work included?? Well, yes the first few weeks of our trip did feel like a holiday and were truly blissful. Aiden seemed to be loving all the one on one attention he was getting from both Peter and I and we felt like we had broken through the shackles of an 8-5 job and the hum drum of household and daily chores. Mmmmm…in retrospect maybe we had gotten away from the 8-5 job, but there were still household chores and some daily routines for Aiden to be kept. And once holiday mode had worn off, I think Aiden was left looking at us thinking “I’ve had enough of you now, go away! I want to go to Granny’s house and school to play with my friends” it became a little bit more difficult.
We had to artfully explain to a three year old that we weren’t in fact going home right now and furthermore we wouldn’t be going home for a long while. He seemed to actually deal with it quite well. There was of course a sense of an adjustment period and countless meltdowns but we got through it. One of the only down sides to explaining this whole crazy adventure to him was the day of his birthday. We had had a lovely day and evening and were getting ready for Aiden’s bedtime when he looked into my eyes and asked me “Why did no one come to my birthday party mommy?” I had to look away as my eyes welled up. I kept calm though and responded to him the best I could with that everyone lived quite far away and that it would take long for them to get to us but he had Granny Gayle coming to visit soon and her bag was laden with birthday gifts just for him. It lifted his spirits in the moment but Peter and I had a moment of complete anxiety thinking was this trip the best thing we could do for him? Since his birthday, the answer has been a resounding Yes! as some of the memories we have created and quality time spent together will last a life time. We are truly hoping that not just Aiden but us as well open our hearts to this experience and let life take us where it will. That being said my name is Lauren and I am addicted to order, cleanliness and routine, not to mention I struggle with anxiety, all of which are near to impossible to treat on a trip like this. Right at the beginning of our trip I was already running around cleaning up the air bnb and making sure the washing up was done and cleanliness reigned when we were not out adventuring, but after a while I was like “Why am I doing this?” This need for perfection is surely not needed here or now. It’s not like we are having visitors over?? Also, this year is about making changes and growing….. but in all honesty it’s quite difficult to break habits straight out of the gates.
I’m still struggling with some anxiety and cleanliness issues (I only wash the dishes once a day now and do washing every few days) but the thing I miss most is routine. Yes, routine. I used to complain a lot about having to go to work every day, picking up Aiden from school and doing the monotonous household chores but in reality I think I actually loved the structure of it all. You knew where you had to be and at what time. Here there is none of that. Peter and I said before embarking on this adventure that we would not treat it as a holiday but rather our life. So day to day things still happen, there is some sort of structure for Aiden in terms of playing, creative time and that sort of thing but there’s no alarm clock waking you up for work, no lunch break to take, no 5pm home time or 8pm study session. It’s a bit liking being a kid in a candy store, you go crazy at first staying up late and waking up late but then that gets boring and you start craving a bit of order (well that was my personal feeling although perhaps not shared by everyone).
I know most people would love to be in my shoes right now and I’m certainly not complaining in any way. I’m loving this adventure I am on with my family and all the good has definitely outweighed a few of the bad moments. It’s just that especially at night once Aiden has been put down, there’s only so much Netflix and instagramming one can do. Also you don’t have things to keep you busy with like back home, things like arts and crafts (I love to mosaic), visiting friends, going out to social events, visiting our parents and that sort of the thing. Peter and I also obviously can’t ever go out at night as we have to be with Aiden while he sleeps (my friend Tam actually asked me if we go out after we put Aiden to sleep?) Pre kids I would of probably asked this same question too, but no, we defs can’t ?
So what could I do to rectify this feeling I had of missing the structures and routines from back home? Well try to put a new structure of sorts in place. I’ve started trying to exercise once a day, trying to wake up a bit earlier to get in some meditation time, trying to get out of this lazy mindset that I am in and contact friends more. I mean I might not have an exact routine this year but I am richer in other ways in terms of freedom. Freedom from having to be at work every day, freedom from the chores of owning a house and sticking to a daily routine. Now I have the choice of where I want to be when and yes I can complain about my lack of routine but even now writing this I seem a bit whiny to myself. Let me just quickly add before my little moan is complete that looking after a child is indeed a fulltime job so as much as I have traded my actual job in the corporate world for a year of travel, Peter and I have jobs as being full time parents. We are just lucky that we have each other to lean on when the other is about to die (sweaty and generally panting from racing around). I just want to take my hat off to all the stay at home parents for a moment to say that “It is hard!!!”. At first like I said we were in holiday mode so it was all fun and games but then when reality set in for all of us and real life day to day living got started we realised what our poor nanny Thandie was dealing with last year. The extreme exhaustion of looking after a three year old…. those with toddlers will know all too well that it is much worse than a Crossfit workout at the gym (in terms of that it is spread out over 8 hours of the day). In terms of benefits though, Peter and I have both seemed to shed some kilograms in the process (that excess Christmas weight ?).
This week to get out of the structures I tend to so rigidly keep myself bound to I decided to shed the shackles so to speak and do some paragliding here in Lima. To say it was amazing is a massive understatement. It was all that and more. Strangely enough I wasn’t even that nervous. I just literally put my life into a stranger’s hands and hoped for the best. The weird part for me was thinking how to make conversation up in the air but luckily for me my paragliding instructor, Eduardo, spoke perfect English (Yaaaay!) and so it all worked out. So, from washing the dishes to walking ten minutes down the road to jump off a mountain, this year is showing me that anything can happen and to try and leave my obsessive personality more at the door (coming and going ?).
Until next week…