Yesterday was my 50th post. 50th !! Who knew I could ramble on 50 times about nothing. It was my 50th post and my 80th day in Florida. Seems like I should do a recap or something. Both 50 and 80 are milestones aren’t they? So let’s review..
My brother recently asked me how I liked Florida now that I’m “finally” here. I answered that with all the changes in my life, living in Florida is the least of it. When I thought about moving to Florida for the past 5 years it was a vision of living in a 2 bedroom condo on or very near the beach, alone. Not a 4 bedroom house looking at middle and high schools. Philip and I will on occasion say to each other “Hey, we’re in Florida, together!!” It was something we talked about a lot during last year’s cold cold winter in Pittsburgh and now we’re really here. If I had time to take it all in it would probably seem a bit surreal. But honestly these other changes take precedence over the geography of Florida, at least for now. For instance:
- I no longer sleep alone. I have slept alone for the past 24ish years. With the exception of the last year on weekends, I have had that bed to myself. Not only do I not sleep alone I now sleep something like this: (picture stolen from Tumblr) – with the exception of the hot flash breaks this is pretty close to how we sleep. However, at 7:30 am when he is out of bed getting ready for work, I am back to spread eagle, middle of the bed, big smile on my face remembering. I loved my bed when I lived alone, loved sleeping alone, I wouldn’t even let Max the dog on the bed because he hogged too much of the bed. Now look at me (us). I love it.
- I live with strangers. Although I was with Phil and Jorden for a year (Jorden about 9 months) before living together, they really are strangers. They don’t feel like strangers but I think in the big scheme of things they are. We somehow are managing to surpass any awkwardness and are a family. It seems like we all have been together for a long time. Jorden the other day had a bottle of soda on the table at dinner and he went to pour himself a glass and he looked at me and said “I’ll get water.” I replied “What? I didn’t say anything.” His reply, “I know the look”…HA! That didn’t take long. He can now commiserate with my boys on the “look”. (however, the look may have been more about the plastic on the table than another drink of soda…but I’m weaning myself of certain expectations.)
- My parenting has taken a 180. I was very vigilant with my kids on certain things but with these kids, you want to sleep until 4:00? – go ahead…more quiet time for me. Want a fudge sickle for breakfast? Sure, get me one too. McDonalds? Ok (but just once a week). I think seeing that it doesn’t matter a whole lot what you do during these years I just pick different battles, which I typically make Phil fight. Plus, I have a girl! I never had a girl before. The biggest difference there is clothes shopping. And although I think I know her “look” I still never pick out the right thing. So some things aren’t that different. Jimmy used to wear whatever I bought him. Zachary never wears what I buy him (unless it’s a superman T-shirt). She likes superman T-shirts too.
- I have a dog that I can’t walk. I had dogs for 30 years. Daily walks were part of the routine of having a dog. Walking in the parks, being in nature, seeing them run thru the fields. This dog can’t be walked because if he runs after something he’s going to kill it. Not people but other dogs and/or cats, especially cats. I tried walking him one time and he dragged me across the sidewalk and practically separated my arm and attacked my neighbor’s new dog by the throat. I’ve been traumatized ever since. And as I’ve mentioned several times on this blog my pretty new furniture is covered with items to keep the dog off. I’ve had my share of dog hair but this black hair is something else. He’s a nice dog though, with people, but the no walking thing is very different.
- I don’t work…outside the home…yet. I now know why people add..”outside the home”.. because I tell you I’m hopping most days. HOPPING. Phil will occasionally make fun of the time I wake up and give me that look (to which I say “shut up”) but I’m telling you I run a lot of errands, I clean a lot, and I cook pretty often…although right now I’m thinking Thursdays should be leftover night don’t you? Goes along with Lyming day. My stress level is soooo down from not “going” to work. I’d take “these” days over “those” days any day…if only it paid better. I love my life right now. I’ll love it more when school starts but even then I’ll only have 4 hours with everyone gone. I blog everyday(ish) that’s a little like work. So I’m busy, it’s just different. Very different.
- I have a boyfriend. I know this should have maybe come first in the review and is the reason for ALL the changes but bottom line is I have a boyfriend!! And I think he really really likes me! We have fun together. We have our date night. We’ve been sneaking out Sunday mornings on our bike rides before anyone gets up. We like being together. I mean who would’ve thunk it? This is definitely a new experience for me. For instance one day I was having a particularly bad day, wondering what the heck I’m doing, worrying about work, stuff like that and I came home from the store and he came out on the porch to greet me and I just smiled and smiled. And I thought to myself “this is why I do it…I just love him” ..Nice huh? Just nice.
- So living in Florida? The geography of Florida? It’s hot. Really hot. I have to say of all the changes it’s my least favorite. I know can you believe I’m saying it? It’s not that I hate the heat but it does make it hard to do things. And it’s really too hot to go to the beach, at least very often. And the bugs. I’m constantly bit. Constantly. I don’t know who scratches more. Me or the dog. I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit. (get it? Bit?) Phil says I’m going to love it here in the fall, winter and spring and I believe him. Kinda like Pittsburgh. Not a great place to be in the winter, especially this past winter, but the rest of the year it can be pretty nice. And I would rather live through a hot summer than a cold winter so in general I like it, but right now I miss Pittsburgh. Yes I do. I miss the summer weather, I miss the Pirates, I miss the Steelers. I miss my friends and family, and I really liked living downtown. Do I want to move back? Heck no. Probably never. I’m sure once I learn some more things around here, make some friends, get on a better visit Pittsburgh schedule, get some Pittsburgh visitors here in the winter months, and when we get involved in some water sports and enjoy the beach more I know I’ll come around. Right now we’re getting settled so I just have to be patient. (a common theme) I enjoy our bike rides, and the flatness of the terrain, the sky, the water, the big trees and Spanish moss, and looking up at night and seeing the moon thru the palm trees. Sandy asked me before I moved down here, as a test to my commitment, if I would move to Idaho with Phil. Luckily I didn’t have to make that decision then. Now, the answer is “yes” – but probably only during the summer – then we’d have to move back here.