Reality Bites

Year Two in London has begun less begun with less of a bang and more of a sizzle.

I find that my perspective is very different upon return.  All the things that once felt like subjects for a blog are now just par for the course.

Case in point: In August, I woke up to find that we had no hot water.  I requested repair.  I returned to find that we have only scalding water that cannot be controlled.  I was told this is “curious”.  We are now in the third attempt to solve the water issue.  The problem is a mystery but the bungled service attempts are no surprise.

Case in point: I am still engaged in a futile attempt to find a decent place to exercise.  I was not surprised to find that Jane Fonda’s spirit is alive and well in the antiquated aerobics class I recently attended.  The workout space is reminiscent of the Eastern Civic Center in Greenwich with its dusty wood plank floors and out-dated equipment crammed and crowded along the perimeter.  Somehow the dilapidated space seems charming over here… Equinox this is not!

Case in point: When cabbies call me “Luv”, I barely notice.  The fact that they are always chatty can actually be annoying.

I no longer have the unique perspective of the newbie as I am not the new kid on the block.  I went to Back-to School night and felt connected as I dispensed of lots of hugs and hellos.  I am suddenly attending committee meetings, taking on responsibility, recommending ideas to the new parents, giving directions on the street to tourists.  What a difference a year makes.

My perspective is also different because my family situation has changed.  Like a puzzle with a missing piece, our family is not quite whole and Katie’s absence is glaringly obvious every day.  That said, her complete elation at school negates my sadness at home.  We are all adjusting to the change.  I think things are going well, but I overheard this conversation between sisters the other day:

Katie:  How is London?

Jackie:  You left me alone with mom and dad in a foreign country.  I am expected to spend family time with them.  It is the worst.

At least Lucy seems happy.  She has resumed all her old habits and continues to rub herself into discarded cigarette butts (there are many) and relentlessly stalks all the pigeons (there are even more).  Walks continue to be a “buffet” of sorts as the city streets are littered with a smorgasbord of delectable morsels.

My rose-tinted glasses have come off, and I see things a bit more clearly now that I am more familiar with the landscape.  But that’s to be expected.  With open eyes, I am eager to continue my quest to live life to its fullest and take advantage of life in London.  My heart is still in it.

I’ll steal the words from Coach Taylor on Friday Night Lights, my favorite cancelled TV series, as this year’s motto:

 Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose

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