Saturday, August 11, 2012

Back in the Nest

I need to make this my new mantra. Seriously.

I've been so crabby the past couple of weeks. I feel like a pressure cooker -- like I'm going to explode if someone looks at me cross-eyed, or commits any one of a million minor urban offenses like walking too slowly in front of me or blocking the stairs to the tube.

I feel better now, as I'm writing this at home, than I did yesterday. The stress of catching our train from Amsterdam and dealing with the crowds, the connections, customs and immigration, and an extraordinarily grumpy fast food cashier named Marta at the Amsterdam train station all caught up with me. I snarled at Dave in line at customs and he let me know in no uncertain terms that he wasn't going to put up with that. And I don't blame him.

The back-to-back days and weeks of catering to other people, as housekeeper and tour guide, have taken their toll. (I don't mean that as an attempt to sound selfless, believe me. If anything, I'm too selfish. I normally require a lot of me time.) Getting away to Amsterdam was nice but it was only one full day -- and Dave and I agree that the train is really not the way to go. That trip was long and hard. Next time, we're flying.

Overall, I haven't had as much time to exercise as I'd like. I've been eating a heck of a lot of restaurant food, which gets old after a while. Lots of beer and wine -- probably too much, at least for me. The resulting dent in our bankbook has me a bit concerned. And there's just been no break.

I did have my stay in Kent, but even that was a little weird, immersed as I was in an unfamiliar social and work environment, with people I didn't know. (Not to mention an ocean's worth of rainfall.)

I don't mean to say I'm not appreciative of our visitors -- I am. I'm glad each and every one visited, and I love them all. I'm fortunate for this life I lead and the fact that I'm even able to go to too many restaurants. (What a whiner! Really!) But this summer has been an interesting lesson for both Dave and me. We need to space our visitors out more, and "ring-fence" (as the British would say) some down time for ourselves. We will not repeat the summer of 2012.

Plus I have this new job coming up -- my first non-journalism job in 20 years -- and I'm stressed about that too.

I need to get back to meditating. My backside hasn't seen a cushion in months.

Meanwhile, forgive me, blog readers, if any of my grumpy old man tendencies have crept into my recent posts. I'm doing my best.

(Photos: "Relax" graffiti in a field in the Netherlands; a giant spider threatens Brussels; and some enthusiastic train graffiti in Amsterdam.)


Ms. Moon said...

I know exactly what you mean about the visitors. You need some routine in your life and visitors smash routine to hell. Also- you have to smile too much.

ellen abbott said...

Love both the photos. And I know what you mean about the visitors. this summer we did three grandkid visits in a row, three weeks of non-stop catering with no downtime. whew! took me almost a week to recover.

Elizabeth said...

I love the word "crabby" and hate the feeling. I hope you get some rest and relaxation. Meditation saves me from permanent curmudgeonliness.

The Bug said...

I had wondered how you were managing all that face-time with other people. I'm introverted, but I know that you are more like Mike is - EXTRA introverted. Pleasant folk, but who need to have more time alone than with others.

Hope you'll have a nice stretch of time to just be yourself now (after Dave's parents leave).

Lynne said...

You are well deserving of being crabby and irritable! With all the company? I'm not sure I would have survived. I think you held up extraordinarily well under the deluge! Glad you realized it was too many visitors (as glad as we are to see them I totally agree with you) in too short a space of time.

If I eat out too much I don't feel good either. Eating at home is so much better because you are in complete control of what you eat and how it's prepared.

Embrace your new job! Take deep breaths ... relax!

Reya Mellicker said...

I am so relieved to know that you too, like all of us humans, have a line that when crossed does not bring out the best in you.

You have been a CONSTANT tour guide. Good lord. That's why I said when I visit I do not need to be shuttled around. Let's just hang out and drink coffee.

I love the word "grumpy," also "crabby."

And I'm glad you're home. Tell all potential visitors to give you a breather for god's sake.


Linda Sue said...

What? I thought you were super human or lobotomized- Man, what a summer! I can not even stand to have people over for dinner anymore- unless they leave by 8:00pm, I am a wreck. I have to run away for quiet time every day. The more hours i spend in solitude the better. I am more than crabby when too much happens with too many too close together- I would be thrown in the slammer!
That said, you may expect me on Thursday , bringing ten children along, not to worry we will only be staying for a couple of months...
LOVE the spider shot- favorite!

Steve Reed said...

Ms. Moon: That is exactly the problem! Too much forced smiling! In my own home, I shouldn't be made to smile unless I'm really FEELING it!

Ellen: I think spacing visits is a key to sanity.

Elizabeth: Isn't crabby a fabulous word? I love it too.

Bug: I don't know if I'm EXTRA introverted, but I read once that while extroverts get energy from other people, introverts feel drained by other people. I definitely fall into the second camp.

Lynne: I think food defines us all to some degree, and having to change our diet routines -- while initially refreshing -- gets really hard after a while. Plus, restaurants cook everything wrong. LOL

Reya: Oh, yeah, I definitely have that line! Hello back!

Linda Sue: How funny. I'm leaving the country for a six month Antarctic expedition on Wednesday night! So sorry we'll miss each other!

37paddington said...

I really REALLY know what you mean.

37paddington said...

I left you a comment, but as often happens when i leave comments from my kindle it went poof!

the gist of what i said was, dang, i know how you feel.

i think i must be an introvert because people tend to exhaust me if i don't have enough down time in between the social time. if i get that down time, i'm really fine to socialize but if not, i can barely do the dance.