in the crisp, cold air
Quite the shake up in my routine this weekend, as I am out of town & in a new and interesting place - one I probably would not have ever had the pleasure of visiting if some family had not moved up here! It's very, very cold and despite trying to pack in anticipation of this, I'm still shivering cartoonishly every time we step outside (and I kind of forgot to consider bringing a good scarf, so my cheeks and nose are constantly bright red). The looks we get from the locals as we bumble around in our over-the-top winter clothes are pretty comical. I think it's embarassingly obvious to them that we're from warmer climates.1
Still, there are cute shops here, the downtown area is easy to navigate and full of secret, tucked-away murals, and there are cool and hilarious local stickers and graffiti posted up and down the alleyways or on light poles. I almost wish I was here alone, so I could explore at a more leisurely pace - but I'm here with other people (and on limited time), so I have to keep in mind when they get antsy and want to get a move on.2 I was rushed out of a bookshop/miscellaneous shop yesterday, where I was amassing an arm-full of stickers, books, postcards, and gifts for friends. I'm absolutely chomping at the bit to go back by and take my time perusing the sections that I wasn't able to get to. I think there were two other rooms that I never even stepped foot in!
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I'm hoping we get some time to relax a little, as well, but I have a feeling this weekend will be very go-go-go, which is why I'm throwing this together in between excursions. We had dinner at a local Thai restaurant last night. I got the Pad Thai3 and it was absolutely delicious. The day before last, we ate at more of a chain(-ish) restaurant, which wasn't bad, but yesterday and today we're hitting the more local fare and I'm incredibly happy about it. Personally, when I go out of town, I'm rarely as interested in visiting a restaurant I can find elsewhere. It's the unique, personal places that stick so fondly in my memory.
We do get back pretty late on Sunday, which I'm not looking forward to. I'm grateful to have more time here on Sunday morning, since this is already a pretty quick trip and hopefully it will give us a little extra time with our family before we head out...but I am deeply possessive of my Sunday nights. Despite being a bona fide introvert, my weekends are often full-to-the-brim with plans (between friends, family, and personal errands) and so I enter the week feeling less rested than I truly wish I was. I have a lot of mixed, guilty feelings when I try to take a weekend to myself, because I always end up getting a variation of FOMO that just kind of amounts to, "Will I regret not spending this time with my friends later?"4 So, I usually try to make sure that - at the very least - my Sunday evenings/nights are my own.
Sometimes I daydream about cashing in on all of my sick-leave hours and taking a week to just sleep and relax - a mental reset. I plan out what I would do over the course of the week: sleep in late, kick back, and focus on personal projects (reading, writing, hobbies) on Monday and Tuesday, knock out all of my general chores on Wednesday and Thursday, and then Friday during the workday I could get anything leftover done and still have Friday evening and the weekend to throw together a combination of socializing and doing whatever the hell else I wanted.
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I'm trying to sneak my personal moments to write and work on responding to people, but even when it's a quiet moment, there's people around me chatting and sometimes I can barely hear myself think! If I was a little less distractable, this might not be an issue, but I'm constantly tuning into bits and pieces of conversations or someone is trying to get my attention.
Hopefully I'll get some good moments to write about from this experience (maybe a few honeybears or cloud watching - from a plane! - posts.)
In the meantime, I'm breathing in the crisp, cold air. It's fresh and clear and biting.
I love a new adventure.
Good luck out there,
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I also did get a wildly judgmental look from a woman we passed who was sitting in a coffee shop window the other day, which I was a little taken aback by - I thought my outfit was pretty cute! I guess I'm not exactly a fashion icon, so maybe I just looked dumb or something? It definitely took the wind out of my cold-weather-style sails a little. Devastating!↩
And we're all different types of shoppers with different preferred stores. (Deep sigh.)↩
I love a staple, though I did waffle for the entirety of the time between getting there and ordering on if I should get that or something I hadn't tried yet, but I caved at the last minute...(I got the ‘medium spice’ level, but I wish I'd gone a tier up.)↩
Maybe something to bring up in my upcoming therapy appointment.↩