i have been composing my christmas list for MONTHS. because i feel like it needs to be (a) concise, (b) reasonable, and (c) comprised of things that i cannot live without in the every day and yet which are easily transportable back across the pond.
because now that i've culled it down to the GREATEST ESSENTIALS, i fear forgetting it, so fyi, here's where we stand for christmas, in august:
1. refills of the fancy expensive canadian multi-vitamins that i cannot live without.
2. refills of the bed, bath & beyond paris body wash that i cannot live without.
3. itunes gift cards for the random american tv shows i cannot live without.
4. ££s to be earmarked for trapeze lessons that i cannot live without.
as you'll note, my definition of 'cannot live without' is maybe a little more than facetious. but, in contemplating the things i would like to do and currently cannot, or the things i would like to have and currently do not, or the things i currently have to spend my own money on that i really like to would not, this is where it winds up. four things. all of which are breathtakingly frivolous and yet also surprisingly simple delights.
the weird thing about living in a foreign country (and, yes, that was the best transition i could muster) is that it's kind of like being on vacation, in that when you're on vacation you're open to doing things you maybe wouldn't. for instance, when my family goes on vacation, i'm always startled by the regularity with which we eat ice cream (like, multiple times a day) or the enormous stretches of time we spend sitting on park benches (something we never do in our daily lives).
at the very least, when on vacation, you try to do random things, to be where you are and see the things around you and not just sit in your hotel all day. yeah, living in a foreign country is kind of like that. except not even at all.
because i live here. and so i can just go sit in my home all day. as i did many many days in chicago and everywhere else i've ever lived.
except this is london. LONDON.
the weird thing about living in london is that, suddenly, every time i don't leave the house all day, every time i work inside, i'm not seeing buckingham palace or the strand or hyde park or the v&a. never mind that i've seen all of those things multiple times. never mind that they're right up the street and will continue to be right up the street for at least another year, if not three. it feels like i'm not so much missing out, as not ruthlessly wringing every single ouch of pleasure from my circumstances. which is what you do on vacation.
living in london is not a vacation. it is real life. and yet, coexistent with that fact is the sensation that one should be enjoying everything more because one is in london. london is, after all, where one would go to get away. you go to vacate there. not to live.
and maybe this is a sign of my ongoing newness? maybe the pressure to be having THE TIME OF MY LIFE will dim down? in the meantime, i feel as though every day i do not leave the flat i'm forgoing the possibility of my life suddenly morphing into chick lit.
and every day i do leave the flat? whilst it isn't necessarily always THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE, there's usually a rhythm, an underlying pulse to the day, the awareness that i am in london, that i live in london, and that that's a terribly lucky place to be.