The reality of leaving is starting to sink in. Yesterday, I mailed a box back home. I was very proud that this box only weighed 15 pounds. However, the issue turned out not to be weight but size. I had to craft my own box in order to send my Carnival mask (and the rain boots that I will never need use of in the desert) home and in the end, it cost me 60 euro to do so! It is supposed to arrive in 6 weeks or so and they didnt allow insurance on it (?)--well, I at least have pictures of me in my mask in case I never see it again! That little adventure spurred me on to think of the things I am not looking forward to back home......
1. Driving--I mentioned yesterday how much I enjoy walking and by the same token, I dont really enjoy driving. Or should I say, the long commutes that are commonplace in Phoenix and the ever increasing traffic jams. Driving is a necessity in Phoenix either due to the heat or the distance. Maybe I can find a job that is only 2 blocks away from me and get my daily passeggiata in?!
2. Consumerism--its funny that I would think this while living on this floating island hotel/gift shop where shopping is one of the major activities. But instead, I have found that I truly can live on less and its not that important to get that new car every 3 years or a bigger house every 5. The American consumer mindset is addictive. Don't get me wrong, one of my first stops back home will be Target! But I am hoping that I can keep my simplicity and not get caught up in the bigger, better, faster syndrome that plagues us there.
3. Alarm Clocks--its been such a dream to wake up naturally for a year. I have found a rhythym in my sleep and I enjoy it. That first day of the new job when the alarm goes off will be a sad day for all of us--me, the cat, and all the people I am about to work with!
4. Crime--the nature of Venice with its labryinth streets and people milling about has created an environment where crime is almost non-existent because of the difficulty in committing such a thing. Back home, this is not the case. While my neighborhood and general living area is not crime ridden (at least not when I left!), I can honestly say that I never felt comfortable walking the streets alone after dark like I do in Venice.
5. Routine--with an engineering background and a human nature of being tidy, organized and on time, I was surprised to find the simple joy I get from 'not having anything to do'. Being able to come and go and experience whatever is lying around the corner at a whim has been a breath of fresh air for me this year. I am hoping that once I settle back into the 'routine' of working and life in Phoenix, that I can steal some of these times away for balance.
And, tomorrow....the last list...what I am looking forward to when I get back home.....