We’re in our fifth week of living in a studio loft hotel room (with a mostly frosted glass wall to the bathroom). We’ve been here long enough that it feels normal. The kids are comfortable navigating the busy breakfast bar. The staff knows us. I expect to see Bertie’s face plastered against the glass while I’m in the loo. My clothes haven’t seen the inside of a closet or dresser in 7 weeks but it doesn’t really bother me any more. I haven’t dirtied a pot in more than 30 days and I’m glad to not have the dishes to wash. (In fact, I just ate my 100th meal out.)
But the end is in sight: tomorrow we move into our Italian home!
The truth is, I’m in a blissful place. A twilight between reality and a dream. I fritter away the quiet dark time after Lights Out on Pinterest, looking for decor inspiration for our front porch, balconies, outdoor space and kids’ bedroom. I search for tips on gardening and drying herbs, contemplate raising chickens, daydream about turning the figs into jam for the insanely delicious cheese we’ll eat all the time. I study Italian for making small talk at the playground behind our house, introducing myself to the nearest baker, helping the kids make new friends. I keep a list of places to see in Italy and write down everywhere that looks interesting.
Where our life in Italy is right now is but possibility…
and to be real, I’ll add: and the potential for disappointment.
It’s an ugly thing I do. In my mid-20s I was trained to look critically at everything around me. That habit is a hard one to shake. Day after day I looked at each project that crossed my desk and each idea that crossed my mind and deconstructed it: how might it not work? What is this missing? How could it be better? Can I show this to the world and proclaim, “This is THE BEST!”? (It’s sometimes paralyzing as a blogger.)
Then there’s the uglier thing I do, when I convince myself that I can’t possibly be worthy of the best. MY life can’t be that great. I plant seeds of discontent before I have a place to sow them. It’s self-sabotage: “Yes, we’re moving to Italy but it’s going to be HARD.” “We get to see all these amazing places but we have the kids and they can be so much work.” “We’ll live in a big old house but it’s going to be too cold in the winter.”
But you know what? None of that has to be. My friend Heather recently wrote this guest post for Military Wife and Mom about choosing your attitude. I’ve been thinking about this a LOT lately, as I play whack-a-mole with those old habits, bashing them down as they rear their hideous heads. My attitude is the only obstacle between now and having an incredible time throughout this assignment.
And so I choose enthusiasm. This is going to be a great assignment!