So here we are, over a month in to living life on pause. What a strange feeling this is. We’re not really living in England anymore but we’re also not yet starting our new lives in Milan.
While we wait for documents and passports and all that fun bureaucracy to work itself out, we are living hotel life. What a strange existence this is.
I’ve had things shipped to me here. I have made friends with all the staff and I jokingly say. “I live here now.” I’m pretty sure the hotel bar is my new living room. But really. It’s not wrong is it? Because if I don’t live here, where do I live? Are we homeless? Or just paused. Unable to start new work, decorate a new place, explore new surroundings. I’m unable to begin the life I am envisioning for us in Italy while simultaneously unable to grieve the loss of the beautiful life we had (have?) here. I keep telling people oh this is the last time I’ll see you, only to make plans with them the next week because we’re still here. I don’t know if you’ve ever had to say goodbye to those you care for over and over again. But what an emotionally taxing event. It’s to the point now that even though were still here I’m keeping to myself save a couple very close friends because I just can’t emotionally take it anymore.
But you’re living in such a lovely hotel in such a beautiful city I hear so many people say. And they aren’t wrong. We are so fortunate to have this experience. It could be so much worse. But also, at the same time, it could be so much better.
We always anticipated three weeks in the hotel but as we complete our fifth week with no particular date of departure in sight, I’m getting restless. Eating at restaurants and take out every night sounds lovely in theory but have you ever done it for a month? It gets old so fast. I mean, how many times do you want to eat pizza? Or McDonalds? Because other than an actual restaurant there aren’t many fast food choices in England. Though we did discover a great Indian place across the street and they let us take out too. Because to be honest, do you want to sit in a restaurant every single night? I don’t. My anxiety and PTSD get the best of me some nights and I just can’t deal with the noise. So some nights it’s Subway in the hotel room and that’s okay.
But really. I wasn’t prepared for life like this. I don’t have enough clothes, or work out clothes, or even work out shoes. I did bring my yoga mat so there’s that at least. For most of the first month here (first… like there will be more… Jesus…), I couldn’t workout. I couldn’t bring myself to even move my body because there was too much in my head. But as we moved out of May and into June this week, I started a new program on my Sweat app. It’s been a LONG time since I logged in, but Zoe encouraged me to start a program by Kesley Wells called ”Redefine Fitness: Strength and Mindfulness.” And let me tell you. It has me moving again. Working towards feeling good in my skin and today! Today’s theme was perspective. And let me tell you. That hit REAL close to home. What can I do about my perspective on things I encounter in life. What a perfect time for her to talk about redefining the way we react to things we encounter that are out of our control. I know I’ve heard it before from friends and my family and of course my therapist but sometimes it just comes out differently from someone that doesn’t know you at all. It hits when she’s talking to me and ALL of us all at once. Does that make sense?
So here I am, in the hotel bar/ living room. I’m having a hot chocolate and writing and trying to think about all the extra things I get to experience because of the delay that is out of my control. This weekend is Jubilee weekend, the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. What a once in a lifetime… once in ten lifetimes event. And we’re here. No events or large plans but we’re here. Witnessing the joy and that’s something we didn’t think we’d get.
And all the while, I’ll be remembering the American composer Truman Fisher’s words, “The pause is as important as the note.”
No, we’re not yet in Italy. But there’s no real rush, right? We get three years there no matter so for now I’ll take a deep breath and enjoy the pause.