On Friday, we left Heidelberg and won’t return for a few weeks. I was eager to head out of town on a new adventure because to be honest, the last week had been tough. I wasn’t thinking that this was the blog post I’d write next but it feels important to be on paper…or here, since my handwriting is so terrifically awful.
I always hesitate to complain because I’ve well aware of just how good I have it sometimes. Take this trip for example. My family and I are out of the country for seven weeks, a time that we have called vacation but it hasn’t always been relaxing or even stress-free. In fact, recently I’ve been bored out of mind. And that has been so new and difficult for me. Picture it: my husband, the only fluent speaker among us, worked M-F ~8hrs/day for about 3 weeks since our arrival in Germany, leaving my daughter and I together: she who doesn’t yet walk and squirms in her stroller after thirty minutes. No need for real walking shoes on this trip! Add in no adults to talk to (me), no toddlers to play with (her), buckets of rain (or scalding heat w/out air conditioning), a tiny apartment, limited toys and you can imagine how boredom might gallup in.
Until this past week, boredom and I were not well acquainted. There are more projects, ideas, plans pencilled out in my battered Moleskine than I have time enough for in this life. I’m starting a business, doing personal coaching, working outside the home a bit, volunteering, writing at two blogs and caring for Elisabeth. When we’re home, Elisabeth goes to her pal Nat’s house on Tuesday afternoons, my husband has her Wednesday afternoons and Sundays are my day to do errands, meet with friends, etc. I haven’t been with Elisabeth full-time since she was three months. Since we’ve been here, though, it has been she and I for the most part on our own. This work (and keeping a step ahead of her at all times is work) has been hard, because as many of us know caring for a child full-time can be mind-numbingly boring.
Boredom is hard. Boredom / a lack of meaningful challenge is why I’ve left jobs that I have LOVED. Boredom makes me start to question my own worth. Boredom causes me to feel over-tired, make poor decisions, not think things through and head to the kitchen when I’m not hungry. In short, boredom is a very bad place for me to linger.
So, I’m happily moving on…physically and emotionally. We are here in Regensburg until tomorrow, then leave for Berlin for 5 days, then back here for 6 days. We end our stay in Heidelberg again but I’ve had a few ideas on what I’ll do differently when we return: more time at the pool we discovered, a day trip out of Heidelberg to explore Mannheim, “picnic” up at the castle, grocery shopping with my husband so I’m not shlepping food & a toddler. Maybe the key to feeling like it’s okay to complain even when you have a lot is to add in a healthy dose of self-awareness which should include humility and an acknowledge of privilege. What do you think?
Another question just because I’m curious: is it harder to write or speak a complaint or to write or speak something you did awesome or are proud of?