Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I heard the clock ticking today. It’s not like I was just waiting for it to tick. On the contrary. I was running around the house, packing things for the charity shop, sorting stuff that’s ours vs. what belongs to our landlords, moving stuff from this pile to that...moving out essentially. I’m leaving Ireland in a couple of days. Leaving Ireland. Leaving. Ireland.

So I heard the clock tick and I had to pause because I was struck with a very strong memory of what my life was like when we moved here two years ago. I had come from a relatively high-stress job, with a relatively high-stress life (some, but not all, of my own making) and when I came here there was nothing. Floyd would go to work and I would sit. Sometimes I would read, or watch TV, or go to coffee with other expat ladies. But, other times, I would just sit. And I would listen to that clock tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Marking the passing of time at an unbearably. slow. pace.

Why is it that time only seems to go slow when you’re miserable? Or, shall I say, when you think you’re miserable. Because I look back on that time now and I think about what I could’ve been doing with that time. And not so much "doing" with that time as "enjoying" that time. That precious time.

That precious, miserable time lasted about three months and then I managed to fill my time with classes and horse-back riding lessons, doctors visits, and trips into Dublin for acupuncture and herbs. We were still trying to get pregnant back then so I was pretty focused on that. I would go to the gym and work-out most days. Other days I would just go for a run. I slowly became more comfortable in the kitchen and began cooking adventurous meals. We ate at the table and I stopped watching TV. I had successfully made my life busy again.

Then we decided to adopt, so my life became completely focused on that for several months. Then we started to travel. And travel. And travel some more. We had friends and family over and took them to fun places like Paris and Rome and Oughterard.

And then our house burned down, so we had to focus on that for about eight months.

Then more traveling and more visitors who we took to fun places like Paris and Rome and Doolin.

And then we met Thor, so we’ve been focusing on that for the last four months.

And now we’re going home. Time’s up. No do-overs.

I was reminded today of those first few months in Ireland, listening to the clock tick, back when I thought I was miserable. I feel like I haven’t heard that clock tick in a really, really long time, so I became nostalgic. I have always said that boredom is highly underrated.

Now I’m going home. Back to my job and back to our lives. We’ll soon travel to China and bring home our daughter. Life will naturally be different, but I’d like to think that I’ve learned a few things in the last two years. I’m sure I have actually. I discovered today that I learned to enjoy the sound of the clock ticking.

Labels: ,


Blogger Katie J said...

Moving is such a huge thing. Add moving internationally, adoption, and returning to a house that has been forever changed since you last lived there and you have a recipe for waxing nostalgic and massive stress. I will be thinking about you as you move across the pond and get ready for your newest adventure. Take care.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous SBird said...

This post reminded me of a time in early 2004--just after I had quit my faculty job from the ungodly stress, and I had nothing to do for the first time...ever. And I sat a lot. And watched a really bad TV show, Starting Over. That should have been the tip-off. I wish now that I had a do-over with that time...

I can't wait to read about your next chapter back at home and...with Thor!

6:52 PM  
Blogger Doris & Dan said...

A new chapter is starting. it is great that you can look back on your last and see how good it turned out to be (minus fire and such).

Keep smilin!

7:05 PM  
Blogger FDChief said...

I've always felt that one of the most underrated things in our lives is the time we get to spend doing absolutely nothing.

Call it "creative loafing" if you will...that time you get to spend not doing stuff or moving about but sitting still and just being. Listening to the small sounds of day and night. Watching the shadows move. Leaving behind the demands of clocks and schedules and structures and letting yourself drift.

There's an old koan that says: "The world is vast and wide. Why do you put on your robes at the sound of a bell?"

Looking forward to seeing you real soon...

9:02 PM  
Blogger Avery's Mom & Dad said...

You summed it up in one post

I could not have said this better, and we have all felt the clock ticking, and that underrated feeling of doing nothing. That was my life at the end of 05' beginning of 06' and I learned a whole lot about myself listening to the tick tock.

Have not heard that sound in a long time, life is busy passing me by again.

Good luck with the move, and I am so glad you have had this Int;l experience....worth its weight in gold-or maybe pints in Ireland.

We can't wait to see you with Thor in your arms!!
Happy Moving

1:51 AM  
Blogger Barb said...

I dream of a day that I can sit and figure out what I want to do rather than always doing what I have to do. I'm glad you had that opportunity.
And, like SBird, I'm looking forward to that next chapter at home with Thor.

4:36 PM  
Blogger walternatives said...

I just woke up from a long nap (literally, not figuratively), so I'm at a loss for a witty, darling comment. Please know that I'm thinking of you during all these changes. I'm honored to be following along and I'm SO looking forward to meeting you soon, good woman. It's Saturday evening Texas time and I wonder where in the world you are...

2:59 AM  
Blogger steph said...

I hear the ticking of the clock, followed by screaming every 3 hours! Oh to go back to those wonderful days ~ the 2 weeks I had between quitting work and taking on a baby. Ahhhhh the pool. Ahhhh the lunch dates. Ahhhh going to bed after 9:00~

4:36 AM  
Blogger lisa said...

Well, I hear the clock ticking every day-and chiming the quarter hour. My Dad built a beautiful mantle clock for me and told me that I could put it on silent-which I thought I would do-but I actually find it comforting. And I am also a big advocate for a space in every day for stillness. Congratulations on all the new changes in your life! ~lmc

5:02 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home