I’m back!

So, apparently I last wrote more than four months ago?! What? Okay. Judging by the header photo of that last post (and, um, the actual date which conveniently locates it in time, I guess), it was apparently early spring and I was coming off a busy week at work. In April. Well. Many things have happened since then! I probably don’t even remember half of them! Happily, I see that I had commenced drafting a post summarizing April’s events and it looks like all I was wrapping up there was adding photos, which is super good news for me, because I honestly don’t even remember the details of April. It had Easter in it, I think? I think I had a really nice Easter, even? Anyway. Perhaps, if this burst of motivation continues, I shall someday (soon?) finish that post and then you (the collective internet) and I will both know what happened in April.

Perhaps I will even claw some time out of my busy (largely self-imposed) schedule to post summaries of May, June, and July, too, but in the meantime, I am feeling a nice little list of accomplishments and major events coming on instead. If all goes well, it can serve as a friendly table of contents for upcoming posts containing additional details and photos and if not… well… at least some minimal record of these lovely past few months will remain.

Did I just call the last few months lovely? Do I sound slightly manic? Yes and, I imagine, probably yes (but I promise I am not suffering from any adverse mental condition. I’m just riding the high of having checked something exceedingly annoying off my to-do list (skip ahead to the last item on the upcoming list, but it will be hugely anticlimactic to anyone else; it’s only exciting to me personally). Anyway, though. Yes! The last few months have legitimately been lovely. You can click back a few posts to see how gloomy and burnt out and downtrodden I was feeling in the first few months of the year for contrast, but I am completely delighted to report that I started feeling better right around when I stopped updating this poor neglected writing space. I don’t know whether it’s because I slowly, slowly recovered from the mental beating that was 2021 and finally started to come out of my gloom in April, or whether that would have happened regardless because I love springtime and summertime and the sun and light and blue skies (<– okay, that probably did have at least some impact), or whether I started to physically feel better, because in retrospect, the first four months of pregnancy were physically quite garbage-y and I have felt much better since… but whatever it was, here we are. I’m happy to say that I have downright enjoyed these past few months, to the point where I am actually clinging to the last couple of weeks of pregnancy in a very I-wish-I-could-stop-time way, despite everyone and their cousin having informed me that the last month of pregnancy is a horror show. (It’s unwieldy for sure, but it is not nearly as craptastic as the first four, in my opinion.)

So, without further ado! Here is a brief summary, probably omitting half the important stuff, of the past few months (except April, because that already has its own draft post and I legitimately can’t remember it right now anyway).


Original plan: teach a last in-person week at university; then spend most of the rest of the month in the US with my parents to help with my dad’s next cancer checkup and also in lieu of a summer trip, since I would be too pregnant to travel intercontinentally by then.

What actually happened: taught a last in-person week at university; got covid (this feels like the story of everyone’s travel plans this summer, right?); still have a great time rest of the time in America with family, so honestly, no harm done. This included:

  • Quarantining alone in a hotel while I had Covid. Lonely and a bit depressing? Yes. However! I used this time to accomplish a super annoying end-of-year task for teaching, which was to write all of the exams for June. Six full exams in total. Vomit. I hate writing exams.
  • Lots of quality time with parents just doing our good old little traditional things/habits/routines/etc. Love.
  • Helping both parents with some medical checkups. Happy outcomes: everything is looking good for both of them; also, selfishly, this helped assuage my impending guilt about not being able to go back for the rest of the year because of rest of pregnancy/upcoming newborn infant situation.
  • Seeing a friend that I hadn’t seen since before Covid! Yay! She had a baby in the interim and shared lots of useful words of wisdom with me. Thanks, friend!
  • Finally seeing aunts and uncles that I also hadn’t seen since before Covid! Since Christmas 2019, to be precise. I cannot express the delightfulness of this time, between finally seeing them and also having baby news to share. Yay!
  • Returning to Italy on the 29th and rolling right into the first exam I was responsible for administering on the 30th, sleep-deprived but present and accounted for. Bam! Efficiency.


  • A full day of university exam administering on the 1st of June. The good thing about this is… that it eventually ended. It was long and tedious and in a stiflingly hot room containing 60 computers, 60ish people at a time, and no air-conditioning. For an entire day. Fun! It also yielded some 200ish exams for me to correct. So very fun.
  • A week of Getting Things Organized in between trips because after that the partner and I left for…
  • 10 days in Lisbon, Seville, and Cadiz! Our first real vacation since before Covid! Only the second time we’ve been away for longer than a long weekend in the entire time we’ve been together! What! Yes. Actually the longest we’ve been away together in our whole relationship, I think (the other longish vacation was a week, if memory serves… in July 2019). And we’re having a kid together? Yes? Yes! Which may seem crazy, but I maintain that our relationship, built on the foundation of experiencing a pandemic together, from de facto moving in together during lockdown to shift after shift of pandemic ambulance service together, may be stronger than it would have been if it were just built on fun vacations. Anyway. That’s off topic. The point is, it was a great vacation! I *love* travelling! The timing of which reminder is comically ironic, since I’m about to be living that newborn baby life and decidedly *not* travelling. I assume.
  • The rest of June passed by in a pleasant haze of catching up with friends I hadn’t seen since before the America trip, and also correcting all those exams. Got ’em done, though. Ahhh, that checked-off box feeling. So good.
  • Also managed to squeeze in some minor and largely unsuccessful data collection for my master’s thesis. Did you forget I am technically doing a master’s program at the moment? Me too, pretty much. But it was at some point in May, in the relative calm of life at my parents’ house that I remembered and was like, hang on, self, you really ought to just wrap up those two remaining exams and that thesis. So I made a tragically mistimed effort at collecting data. Because collecting data with preschoolers is super inconvenient when preschools are closed for the summer. Ah, well. We’ll call it the pilot phase and try again in September.


  • July started with a very concrete goal: prepare for and take those last two exams for my master’s degree.
  • This goal was immediately impeded by an offer of a day’s work to go administer oral exams in a mountain town by the sea the first Saturday of July. Now, if someone offers to put you up in a hotel an hour away from the sea, on the weekend, and pay you a full day’s work plus two days’ per diem compensation for a mere morning’s work, are you not going to take it? Of course you are! So the partner and I headed up to this random (cute!) mountain town, I administered oral exams to some cute summer camp kids for a few hours on a Saturday morning while he hiked around the surrounding woods, and then we zipped over to the seaside for a delightful afternoon of beach time! Hooray! (Did not further my efforts to pass those exams, though.)
  • Next: I did indeed prepare for and pass the first exam. 30/30. Bam! Yay! It was my only in-person exam of this whole master’s degree. Weird.
  • It was also in Bologna and during the last remaining week that the partner had off from work for the summer (the first two were the Portugal/Spain trip). Anyway, you know what you hit if you keep driving along the highway from where we live, past Bologna? The sea! Yes! So the logical thing to do there was to spend the rest of his week off from work at the sea and it was glorious. There was reading to the sound of the waves, splashing around in said waves, eating nice fish, even a visit from friends, and just reveling in what was probably our last vacation as a family of two.
  • I think used the rest of the month of prepare for and pass the other exam. Last one of this degree! 30/30 again. Win! Satisfaction! Yay!
  • Things I conspicuously did not do in July, aside from updating this poor neglected space: start writing my thesis. Start writing all the exams I had promised for next year before going on maternity leave.

August so far:

  • I have started to work on my thesis a smidge.
  • I have started studying for a Possible Next Project. To be revealed at a later date, perhaps, but for now I’m holding it close to my heart. Sorry, internet!
  • I have spent some lovely time catching up with friends. Really need to make more time for this in regular life – it sucks that it gets relegated to the summer, after all my responsibilities have been discharged.
  • The partner and I have gone on another surprise beach weekend, at the partner’s suggestion, because he is a freaking saint. (He does not love the beach in the same way that I do, but very sweetly proposed that we go there for a day and a half anyway, because he knows how much I adore it and he wanted me to enjoy it one more time before the baby. Thank you, my love.)
  • I have *drumroll* finished writing those freaking exams for next year. Six of them. Just this very afternoon. A half hour ago, to be precise. So… I guess I am actually officially on maternity leave now? Madness!

The rest of August:

  • Well, Bean is due to be born in another ten days or so, so there’s that! I will write more about this at a later time, but I want to briefly record the fact that I have downright enjoyed the rest of pregnancy, since about mid-April. At first it was bizarre to feel him wiggle around in there, but now it feels quite companionable and I think I may rather miss it. I have enjoyed preparing our home and our hearts to welcome him, and all those intimate moments of the partner and I watching random limbs slide protrude bizarrely from my belly and speculating about what he’ll be like and what we’ll be like and what our lives will be like… I will miss this time of our lives. (I will probably super deeply miss it in just a few weeks when he is out in the world where in addition to wiggling he can make noise and demand things of us rather than just be a very heavy belly accessory, ha.) But anyway. Yes. I will miss this summer, I think, in lots of ways. This bears a lot more reflection at a later time and I have things! to! finish! today now that I’m free of those exams, so I’ll wrap it up here.
  • I also hope to finally make some headway on my thesis and my other secret study project, again now that those exams have been lifted from my shoulders (to be clear, I could have achieved this weeks ago if I had just stopped procrastinating them).
  • And… I guess I hope to just enjoy the rest of this time of just the partner and me living our lives as a unit of two. End of August feels like a very fitting time to have a baby, because after a summer of anticipation and living that summer life, I can feel the days getting shorter, and the air feeling different when I throw my windows open every morning, and that end-of-summer sensation creeping over the world. It’s the end of the summer for everyone, and for me, it’s the end of the part of my life where I wasn’t a mother yet. I just hope I can embrace this whole time as fully as it deserves.

Catching up

or Suspended Animation… or After the Storm

So many potential titles for this post! The last one may be the most apt because it works both figuratively and literally: we had a wind storm of unusual proportions here last night, though I am happy to report my miracle tulips (pictured above) are still standing! Anyway. Why am I nattering on about tulips?

The point of this proliferation of titles is to allude to my general modus operandi, which is to get into the cycles of far too much to do and wedge myself further and further into a mental trap of needing to get those things done before I can resume “normal life”. Of course, the concept of normal life is most likely an illusion, but in the meantime, I allow these periods of to-do list frenzy to exclude things that, by all rights, should just have a space in my life regardless: exercise, for example, comes to mind. I often find it far too tempting to just forgo my potential exercise slot in favor of getting just! one! more! thing! done!

Continue reading “Catching up”

The old me?

So, directly after verbosely declaiming all of my pregnancy-related woes last week and bemoaning how much it has changed and will further change my life, I quite ironically fell right back into my well-worn old pattern of daily life the next day. What was that? Fair question. So, my standard pattern of life until 2021 began to unravel precipitously, was to cram work and deadlines and various other things into my days until they were so full as to feel just-about-impossible… somehow crash my way through them… and then feel an immense rush of satisfaction and relief. You can find some examples of this last April and May, which, having just re-read them, are times that I now feel deeply nostalgic for. Look at my chirpy, innocent, zooming-through-life-at-breakneck-speed little self, unaware of the series of un-zoomable challenges about to come her way. Sigh.

Continue reading “The old me?”

Turning a corner?

I started out this pregnancy already exhausted. 2021 was a long, hard, draing, and demoralizing year. I have described it to friends (and perhaps already on this blog, but what’s some recycled imagery among friends?) as feeling like being punched in the face repeatedly. I won’t go through the whole year again — perhaps if I remember to, I’ll link the relevant post up here later — but to summarize, it felt like every time something good happened or, perhaps more crucially for exhaustion levels, every time I thought I had carved out a little break, more bad news swooped for another jaw-rattling punch. (Do punches rattle one’s jaw? I’m happy to report I’ve never actually been literally punched in the face, so that’s something to be thankful for, at least.)

As a result, when I found out I was pregnant in late December, I basically thought, super. We finally did it. And now I will never be well-rested again in my life. 2021 never did give me a break, and now 2022 never will either. All I want in life is a little break! Which… I guess is really not the emotion you’re hoping for when you pee on that stick. It’s definitely not what they portray in the movies. Then I felt guilty for feeling that way, because after a year and a half of trying, can’t I even just muster up some gratitude that it may have finally worked? What is wrong with me?

Anyway. The first three months have done nothing to disprove my suspicion that energy and breaks and feeling carefree are not a part of my life anymore: I have felt like a sack of hot garbage for a vast majority of the time, which has led to not really acting like myself. Old me thought nothing of waking up at 5 to crunch through a translation deadline, moving on to teaching for most of the day, and still finding the energy to drag myself out for a restorative walk at the end of the workday. Maybe even make it through an episode of something or other over dinner with the boyfriend, before slumping to bed, all satisied with the day’s achievements. Business trips and master’s degree exams and translations upon translations all crammed into the same week, bookended by hikes with friends and lunches with the in-laws on the weekends! I once spontaneously decided to make boeuf bourgignon, which takes actual hours of labor (I am not a natural cook) and cleaned the apartment in the same day. From my current point of view, that looks like a downright reckless squandering of energy. Now I have to budget my energy at the start of the day: shall I do my translation work first, while my mind is (relatively) fresh, or shall I empty the dishwasher and put in a load of laundry first because those are more physical, and then do the translations from the couch? Or I might look outside and see that there is finally a sunny day that would be lovely for a walk, but by the time I get enough work done to justify a walk, I’m too tired to even get dressed for a walk. To say nothing of days when I teach in person. Mercifully, there are only three a week this semester, but each of them feels like running a gauntlet of increasingly exhausting activities until I finally slump into my car and wonder how I will muster the motivation to drive home. (Podcasts, is how. Or things get really desperate, showtunes.)

However! Calling a post “turning a corner” and then complaining for three full paragraphs is a smidge incongruous, but I am getting to that part, I promise! So, as hinted at, during the past few days I have felt like maybe I am turning a corner. Maybe it’s because I’ve reached the magical 14 weeks when everyone says I will start to feel better. I honestly don’t feel particularly more energetic (the evenings still find me squished into a corner of the couch, trying to get into a position that does not trigger my gagging-on-nothing reflex) but I do feel slightly better, nonetheless. It might also be because the Bean’s NT scan was last week, and we also received the NIPT (non-invasive prenatal testing) results: all point to low-risk for the three most common trisomies. Perhaps that was weighing on me more than I realized. (In a miraculous turn of events, there were also two other items of good news in the very same day: my father’s 3-month check for the cancer he was diagnosed with last year came back all clear, and my best friend from college was accepted into the next stage of her graduate training.) A collective sigh of relief on many fronts.

It could also be that the NT scan would honestly be quite fun if it weren’t so serious: they have to get the baby into the right position in order to take the relevant measurements, and since little beans can react to external stimuli by this point in their development, they jiggle the ultrasound probe around on your belly, and you can watch your little bean wiggling around in response inside. The internet informs me that Bean is currently the size of a lemon, but during that scan they truly start to look like a real baby, arching and flexing and throwing limbs around, one can only assume in annoyance at being disturbed. This prompted a few moments of of picturing myself with an actual baby: for some reason, this has not happened to me very often yet during this pregnancy (I’ve primarily experienced it as a loss of independence and sense of self, instead), but when I do picture myself with an actual baby, I remember that I really like babies. I always have. Little loaf of bread newborns, and giggly squiggly 4-6-month-olds, and starting to crawl, and starting to walk, and 12-18-month-olds and their little emerging personalities and how all they want in life is for you to get down on the floor and play and snuggle. Teaching them to use a spoon… and not jump off the furniture… (I once worked in a daycare, and both spoons and the furniture acrobatics are prominent in my memories of that time). I declared to my mother that I wanted a baby of my own when I was about seven, and was crushed when she told me I needed to wait twenty years or so. I felt so ready for this step when we started trying in summer of 2020. So where is all of that now?

I can only assume it is buried under the lingering effects of 2021. Which brings me to another reason I might be feeling better. I decided that none of this feels very normal… or rather, not to propagate some myth of “normal”, doesn’t feel like the real me. I lost the real me once before, when I decided not to go to medical school (long story), and I wish I had been more proactive about getting her back, and I wish I had sought help to do so. So, I am happy (I guess?) to report that I signed up for BetterHelp, the online therapy platform. Just in case the answer is that the real me is in fact buried under the rubble of 2021 and needs some help digging back out. After all, my father was diagnosed with cancer and did initially decide that he didn’t even want to try treatment, which was quite a blow. (That’s not really my story to tell here and so I won’t, except to say that overwhelmingly favorable statistics and the doctors and we, his family, eventually managed to convince him of a different path.) In the meantime, my grandmother also did keep getting sicker and sicker and eventually reach the end of her time with us last October. That was a natural and merciful end to a long decline, but it was still another breath-robbing blow to us in an already-hard year. I also begin to wonder if there isn’t at least some measure of burnout from the pandemic itself. Whenever I think about the pandemic, I mostly think about how good I had it: most importantly, I haven’t lost anyone I love due to it, but on top of that, I haven’t lost my job, and while lockdown was a truly bizarre time here in Italy, I had it comparatively easy. It wasn’t that hard to transform my job into a work-from-home situation, and I was locked in with my boyfriend and no children to keep track of or worry about, and I got to leave the house several times a week to go to the Red Cross for ambulance volunteering, thus allowing me to also feel that I was “doing my part”, whatever that means.

I won’t lie that I derived a great amount of satisfaction from feeling like I was helping, in my own small way. Lately, though, I’ve begun to wonder if even just that little amount of helping (I feel foolish even mentioning my two or three volunteer ambulance shifts a week when doctors and nurses and other hospital staff were deep in the trenches, full time and over time and for so long now) may have left some scars, deep under all of this ‘I was so lucky’-ness. Because you do have to dissociate ever so slightly, to trudge up the stairs of countless people’s homes and take their temperatures and cart them away, them and their hacking coughs and the look of fear in their eyes (which was doubtless mirrored in ours). You have to dissociate even more when people ask you when you think their beloved father/grandfather/uncle/brother/spouse/whoever will come home, because… when is honestly a silly question. The question is if. But you can’t say that. When I look back at that, and I think of the statistics in those first months, in the spring of 2020, the reality of the situation can only be this: a great proportion of the people that I carted away on a stretcher gasping for breath (which applies to both parts of that sentence: them from covid and me from being double-masked and visor-ed) probably never came home. So in effect, did I carry people to their deaths? Lonely deaths in the hospital, isolated from their loved ones? I guess so. Rationally, I most definitely did. I vividly remember one week going to a house for the grandfather (code blue, he literally died under our hands, if you want to get dramatic about it), and at my next shift that week going back for his adult son (still standing, coughing up his lungs, but I like to think he probably made it through) and his wife (the grandfather’s wife, I mean; I try not to think about what statistics would tell me probably happened to her, but I guess you never know). And we left the son’s wife there all by herself. She asked us, am I next? Do you think I have it too? We pretended to be too rushed to answer, because what could we have said? In another shift, this during the fall of 2020 when things ramped up again, when we were orange-zoned again (no crossing city limits unless it’s for work or any emergency!), when we already thought we were exhuasted (ha), I remember emptying out half of a floor of a nursing home. We just kept getting called back to the same nursing home. The whole shift. What can possibly have happened to all of them? Nothing good, probably.

So… I mean, I just meant to mention it and I vomited out a whole excessively long paragraph. So it seems like maybe some online therapy at least won’t hurt. And I am mentioning it willfully and on purpose because I don’t think we should hide mental health struggles, but I don’t feel bold enough to mention it in my real life. Maybe this will give me the courage, though, because it’s the right thing to do. I don’t want people to think I’m floating along, happy as a clam with my almost-visible little pregnancy when I’m actually seeking support through therapy. What if it gives someone else the little bump of encouragement to also seek therapy when they need it?

Okay. Well. This post is already ridiculously long, but I have one more item in my maybe-turning-a-corner list: it is physical comfort. So, physical comfort is hard to come by during pregnancy, it seems. There’s nausea and tiredness and other assorted weirdness, but it recently dawned upon me that there are some discomforts I may be able to do something about: for instance (my puniest example first), I get eczema and a patch has flared up in the past months and it itches horribly. So I can just itch it and let it spread and get worse and itchier and then itch it some more, or (literal months into this) I can make an appointment with a dermatologist and get permission to use cortisone cream for three days despite pregnancy, and now, a mere two days in, it itches much less. Magic! Similarly, I went through my dresser the other day and took out any sweaters that are in any way tight, in any way itchy, in any way don’t drape right, etc. There are perhaps times in life to suffer an itchy sweater because it looks nice, but now is not that time. I have also retired most of my pants due to being too tight. I tried that belly-band to hold up unbuttoned pants for exactly one day and hated it, so I have retired that too. I will live in my two pairs of comfy-enough pants until it’s time for maternity pants, and (I am very proud of this one) I have already proactively ordered some to try on so that I can make that transition seamlessly when the time comes. As opposed to waiting until long after things are already unbearable and wishing I had addressed the situation earlier, which is my usual modus operandi. (For example, I would probably be more comfortable in a larger bra and everyone said this would happen and did I acquire a larger bra when I was in the US and could easily try on a bigger size of my usual bra? No. No, I did not. And now I wish I had, because here the only option is to order my usual bra online in a larger size or two and hope for the best.)

Okay. Now instead of closing on the exceedingly dramatic imagery of nursing home denizens on stretchers, I can close on the tragicomic mental image of my ill-fitting undergarments. I wish you all a splendid day, and I leave you Bean’s 13-ish week head for your enjoyment in the header image – Bean is starting to look like a real human!

Sunday Summary: Another two-week edition (sigh)

Hello, internet! Here I am, after letting two full weeks go by yet again! Sigh. Feeling much more sprightly and in the mood to write today, though, probably due to having had a headache yesterday, ironically. I get fairly solid headaches, sometimes weekly, sometimes a bit less often, and I usually feel splendiferous the day after them because it doesn’t hurt anymore! Hooray! (Side note: this also always serves as a reminder to me that people with chronic pain or other chronic health situations are actual superheroes, in my opinion. I have a close friend with a chronic pain condition and whenever I recover from a headache, I think good lord, she gets so many fewer days like this and so many more like yesterday and yet she still does so much stuff! Actually, so far this first trimester of pregnancy experience has kind of brought home a similar lesson: is this what it’s like when you just can never count on waking up and feeling good? I mean, I have been blessed with good health in life in general, and apart from the fact that in my 30s I have definitely started to experience various things feeling stiff and sore and creaky – yikes – when I wake up sometimes, I can more or less count on the fact that as long as I am not actively sick, and have gotten more or less enough sleep, when I wake up every morning, I’ll probably feel pretty good. Now I have not woken up feeling good since, like, the end of December, and as you can gather from anything else I’ve written here since, I have found the experience wearing and demoralizing, to say the least. And that’s just barely two measly months! So again: people with chronic pain just going about their daily lives are the true superheroes of this world, in my opinion.)

Continue reading “Sunday Summary: Another two-week edition (sigh)”

Sunday Summary: two-week edition

For when you just can’t get it together to even post once a week. And also, it’s actually Monday morning as I’m writing this. Ah, well. Worse things happen at sea, as a friend of mine sometimes says. So, when I originally drafted this post in my head last Sunday, I had half a plan to call it something exceedingly sappy, like ‘a glimmer of light’ or ‘a ray of sunshine’. This was half literal, because it was finally sunny after what seemed like weeks of fog, and half not, because of some bright spots in life:

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Sunday summary: Still exhausted… but some good times too

So, this week has been a bit of a slog, to be honest. I’m really struggling with the reduced energy resources I have to work with these days. I started off most mornings feeling more or less decent, and made some solid progress on my to-do list, including a lot of niggling tasks that were very satisfying to finally get done… but by lunchtime I feel like lying down, and then I don’t know whether it is just more tiredness, or too much time staring at my phone while lying down (mostly reading! but still…), or if that’s just going to be the pattern of my “morning” sickness (worse in the afternoons/evenings), but the day just sort of never picks back up from there. I continue feeling crappy and mostly don’t get back up off the sofa for any significant amounts of time until finally it seems like an okay time to go to bed. Sigh. I’m finding this pattern to be quite wearing on my psyche – the lack of that feeling of satisfaction that comes of having done a “good” number of things in my day on top of constantly feeling just sort of sub-par really weighs on me more than I would have expected. Hm. Will monitor that, I suppose.

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Sunday summary: Exhausted but happy

It’s unclear whether the dominant factor here is jet lag or first trimester fatigue, but either way, somewhere on the scale between tired and completely exhausted seems to be my default setting these days. On days when I’m just peaceably working from home, mostly on my own schedule, this feels highly manageable if slightly unpleasant, but on days when I’m working in person, I find myself wondering how on earth people with full-time in-person jobs handle the first trimester of pregnancy… to say nothing of people whose jobs are inherently physically taxing!

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Back to the real world

I’m back in Italy. Not that Italy is the real world, but ever since I left for college, I’ve seen my parents’ home/my childhood home as a restful idyll where the woods around us and my parents’ comfortingly familiar presence provide a buffer from the outside world and all of its stressful demands.

Now I’m back in Italy, in my usual fog of post-overnight flight + jet lag confusion. Maximally groggy and grumpy. There’s no way around it – I hate the first few days back in Europe after a trip home, because the jet lag sucks (makes it hard to fall asleep and even harder to wake up in the morning, which the opposite of my preferred sleep schedule) and I have still not found any sort of trick that allows me to feel well-rested any sooner than about a week after the trip. Blargh.

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Days 13-17: A blur

I’m cheating a bit here, but this always happens towards the end of a trip home: a sense of urgency grabs hold as the last few days of my countdown approach, and the harder I try to cling to each moment remaining, the faster they seem to slip away from me. All my noble goals (exercising, writing here, organizing things) fall by the wayside, and all I want to do is soak in my time at home, but I often end up rattling around in a decidedly unsettled manner that makes the days feel blurry and strange.

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