I did write a few posts into my blog that not every entry would be about new experiences or for my gratitude for new opportunities, that not every post would be a declaration of the wonder of baby giggles, the smell of fresh bread and unicorn farts. I explained my blog would be warts and all about my immigrant experience. That it would be honest and not just highlight all the good parts. So this is not a unicorn fart entry; this is a walrus poop entry.
Three weeks into life in the US and I’ve hit a bit of a slump. I will get over it. I will get past it and through it (Can you tell I’ve read ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ too many times?) but for now I am in a slump.
I thrive on activity. I don’t mean rock climbing or marathon racing, oh dear goodness no. I mean that I like to be busy. Even when I am physically resting, I like to be busy with at least one activity and usually more than one simultaneously. I like to have a plan of action for the day. I have a brain that requires constant stimulation. I don’t wear boredom well. It weighs heavily on me and drags me down. I also thrive on routine. I’m a control freak so I need order in my life. I need lists and plans and routines to follow. Multiple lists are preferable. With colour-coding.
I have none of that right now.
Actually I have a daily list of housework chores I created, printed out in a spectrum of colours and stuck with magnets to the fridge. That’s my routine right now. Just that. Not very stimulating or rewarding but, hey, at least the house is clean and tidy. I have a structure to my day of sorts that is dictated by the kids’ routine, of course, but during school hours my time is just too elastic. I have the littlest Pict at home with me, of course, and homeschooling him gives me something to do in a day but there is only so much education, formal or through play, that a 4 year old can take.
The crux of the problem is this: back in Scotland, I had a wide circle of friends including a small group of close friends. I had people to chat to and hang out with. People I could natter with on a daily basis and chew the fat with. I did voluntary work that I found to be rewarding and stimulating even when it was demanding and, at times, draining. I had clubs I went along to in order to share my hobbies and interests with other like-minded people, learning from and being inspired by them. All four of my kids were in school or preschool so I had a proportion of every day to myself and that allowed me to get through chores without having small people and the mess they inevitably generate under my feet. Some days I would even be able to eke out a bit of time to spend on one of my hobbies, a bit of family history research, for instance, or knocking out a drawing or print over the course of a morning. Latterly I had a part-time job that, while frustrating at times, was challenging in a positive way and allowed me to feel productive and gave me a sense of achievement. Here I know no one. I have no regular adult contact, beyond the school crossing lady and my husband. I have no free time in which to indulge my hobbies and interests, even when my materials and equipment arrive from Scotland.
It’s hard to go from being someone with a life that ambled along quite nicely to being back at square one with knowing no one and feeling pretty aimless. And that is why I am in my slump.
I need structure and I need routine. Phase One of obtaining that is to try and find a viable preschool option for the littlest Pict. That is my mission. Let’s hope I succeed so that I don’t have to write and you don’t have to read many more Walrus Poop entries.