I have said this before but it still sometimes hits me as a surprise in an unexpected moment: it is enormously gratifying to do a great purge in your life. Since I was forced to fit my entire life into 2 suitcases, I went back to basics: I no longer dust pointless trinkets on the cupboard or re-arrange my closet when the season changes. I simply do not own enough. And as it so happens, we moved to a small apartment so I can get it clean in a reasonable amount of time and I do not mow a lawn. Thank god, because I never did that anyway but now I no longer have staff. (I do realize how that sounds but it is what it is.)
The nicest perk is that I found my way back to reading. I have always been an avid reader but ironically enough both a busy life and a lazy life kept me from it at times. Well, let us just admit excuses kept me from it because all you have to do is decide for yourself it is a priority and it becomes one. Since I leave Netflix to the girls, that trap is out of the way. And because I have my workouts in the morning, my lunch breaks and quiet evenings are my time to do what I want to de-stress. Thus I read.
I forgot how I can lose myself in a book, travel to a place, life in a time and meet people as though they actually exist. What is it they say? Reading is travelling without moving. (I forget where I heard it.) I also comfort myself with the thought that my attention span is not completely ruined by social media. I will gladly admit I am a word geek and I can become truly happy when I read a beautiful word or sentence – or as someone recently said, when an author uses “a hella of a line“. Me happy – and jealous.
Another perk is that I recently re-discovered music. Obviously, I did not have to move to do that but one way or another my new life in the first world made it easier. I use Spotify when I walk to the subway. My workouts are accompanied by an appropriate soundtrack. I even put on some music when I do the dishes (yep, you guessed it, have not done those for years either). Strangely enough, we even listen to music in the office. Last weekend, the girls and I went to Lollapalooza and next week I am taking them to the opera. Come to think of it, I think I started turning down the music when I had a relationship. I now remember that I used to fall asleep with music when I was a teenager.
A friend of a friend (with an amazing blog by the way) made me realize that moving to South America for me also coincided with my girls being more independent. I guess becoming a parent is such a busy and stressful time in the beginning that you no longer have time to do things for yourself. So to all my fellow mums out there: do something for yourself this evening. Take a hot bath. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Put on some tunes. Read a book.