Day Sixty-Five: Following Up (and Settling In)

Sometimes in life, and especially in my writing, I tend to be going in more than one direction at once, and especially with a project like this, where it’s difficult to see what I wrote yesterday or the day before that, and difficult to remember exactly when I said exactly what, there are bound to be some loose ends.  I would like to avoid that, as much as possible, so I thought I would take today to follow up on a few things, and maybe explain or clarify a few things.

I still don’t have much to say about my five day journey without booze or alcohol, attempting to make progress on my list of things to do or change now that I’m thirty.  I would have enjoyed a glass of something sparkly last night to celebrate some good news we received, and to celebrate my reaction to some news that was not particularly great, and I’m sure this weekend I will wish we could have at least one meal prepared by someone else, but that’s about it.  Physically I do not feel any different, better or worse, which is no real surprise I suppose, given that I don’t drink very much and even when we eat out I tend to make healthy choices.  I still have not written a single thank you note since I last checked in, but I am enjoying wonderfully smooth legs.

The path and severity of Tropical Storm Erika is still being determined, but most people seem to think it won’t be that big of a deal, at least where we are, so I am still hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.  A common theme, if ever there were one.

Apparently Donald Trump is still running for president, and reporters are still debating whether he is a bully or some other kind of d-bag.  The Ashley Madison debacle continues to unfold, the CEO of the parent company has resigned, and the world continues to offer Anna Duggar unsolicited advice while speculating why she won’t take it.  Business as usual I suppose.

We are all still adjusting to our new home and our new city.  I’m nervous about typing this, not because I’m superstitious or anything like that, but I feel like I have to say, so far we really love it here.  It’s very different than where we were before, and it takes time to understand those differences, but so far, it’s going a lot better than I could have hoped.  HW loves his job, all three kids love their school, the dog doesn’t seem to mind the heat, we love our neighbors, everyone is nice and helpful and real, and there is just something magical about this place.

It’s interesting, because where we were before, we were considered to be extremely progressive, and where we were before that, we were considered very conservative.  I think where we are now, we are back to being somewhere on the more conservative end (although not when it comes to religion), but not by very much.  I don’t necessarily mean politically or religiously, but I mean in how we live our lives, how we spend our money and our time, how we educate our children.

Part of this is probably because as we’ve lived longer lives, we’ve sort of moved toward the middle of the spectrum in most things.  Ideals tend to give way to reality after a certain amount of time.  Most of it though, seems to simply be a difference of cultures.  I would not say that this difference depends on region, although region is a factor, but would instead argue it’s based more on community.  Not necessarily by town, but by larger neighborhood as sometimes defined as town or city.  Take New York City, for example, or even just Manhattan.  The experiences someone who grows up on the Upper East Side have are markedly different than what someone who lives on the Lower East Side experiences, and going back fifty years, that was even more true.  Same city, different “neighborhood,” different culture.  Or think about Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Orange County.  Same region, different cultures.

For example, before this last move, we were “weird” because we cared “too much” about what we fed our kids, and we were really weird because we brought them places.  I can remember having a conversation, or at least being party to a conversation waiting for the car line at preschool, and one of the moms was going on and on about what a waste it is to buy organic food.  She said this with the keys to her Audi SUV hanging out of her Lululemon pants and a $4 cup of coffee in her hand, brushing back hair that has been treated with Keratin God knows how many times.  Again, that’s fine, everyone has her own priorities, and I trust her to know what works best for her family, but it can be difficult to explain to someone who thinks so differently why I would drive thirty minutes to shop at the nearest Whole Foods.  At the new school, which is totally “nut-free” because of allergy concerns, there are several children who are vegan, and parents create masterpiece school lunches or pay almost $10 per day for their children to have organic school lunch, and one child brought his very own credit card to school for show-and tell, but that’s a story for another day.

We try to sit back and observe, figure out which differences we want to incorporate into our lives and which differences we will continue to observe as such.  That gets easier to do with age, or at least it has become easier for us.  I feel like we are more set in our ways, more confident in our ability to decide what we want and what’s best for our family, but still open to learning as much as we can to improve what we are doing.  I’m sure in time, probably the next five to seven years, we will become more set in our ways, maybe too much so, but I’m going to enjoy the balance while I still can.

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