Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bag Day

Today is Northampton's annual Bag Day. There's where you get a bag in your Hampshire Gazette, the local rag, and when you shop with it at participating Northampton stores, which is most of them, you get 20 percent off. We went to A 2 Z to cash in on Lily's main birthday present from us, a gift certificate. A 2 Z is a wonderful toy store -- they call themselves a science and learning store, but they also have a lot of great games and toys -- probably the best that I've seen. It was mobbed at 10:30 this Bag Day morning. They told me it was their second busiest day of the year, after Christmas Eve.

Dave says that on Bag Day our neighbors go to all their favorite restaurants and get gift certificates, which they happily use all year. We don't have a lot of disposable income right now so we just stuck to this one shop. But it was fun.

I realized this week that we are here. Today is the year anniversary of our moving to Amherst (well, the Saturday before Thanksgiving; I think the actual date was the 18th, tomorrow) -- and I've been on the job for eight months and Lily's been in school for a whole term and we've been living in this house for almost five months. I think the Year of Moving is over; now we're in the Year of Landing. When we were leaving a friend told me it would take two years to really settle. I was counting on one but after one I can see what she means.

So how does that play out? Dave's out on a nature walk in our woods, with a naturalist talking about what is out there. Vernal pools, I think. I really wanted to go, to hear what this guy had to say. That kind of thing is right up my alley. And I know I feel better when I stretch my legs and when I'm in the woods. Unfortunately, I felt too overwhelmed to go. I felt more compelled to clean the bathrooms and change sheets and do laundry. I just don't get time to do that during the week; I don't get time to be home. Lily is a bit of a lump like me, although, like me, once she gets out there she likes it. But of course she didn't want to go, either. So we put on Wicked and I cleaned and she straightened her room and then played.

Pretty lame, huh. Oh, well.

My friend said to me recently, this is about the time when you realize, I've landed. I'm here, I'm done moving, and oh, dear, I'm still here! I didn't leave me behind! I still have to deal with all this stuff, whatever it is. Good and bad. So much is good here. And there's so much I want to change in myself, too, so much I was hoping would change -- and did change -- when we moved here. I feel much less stressed, for instance. I don't cough as much. I eat better. I feel calmer and I am spending more and better quality time with my family.

But also, it's true what they say, once you leave the city you never walk again. Everyone has to figure out for themselves how to get exercise here, a new friend said recently. We joined the local YMCA and went to Family Swim last weekend. We might go tomorrow. Lily is now taking gymnastics there on Thursday afternoons. Dave is working out a bit, I've gone a couple of times, and I have an appointment with a trainer tomorrow to show me the machines.

Negotiating work, family, exercise, and my spiritual practice is such a balance. Mostly I want to be with Dave and Lily. But the other stuff is great, and feeds me -- I can't believe how much I like working again! -- and I need it, too. So, it's all balance.

We're in Brooklyn the weekend of Nov. 30. Give a call if you can get together!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.