Monday, May 28, 2012

Until I got to NZ

It is truly bizarre how often it is that I think I never _______ until I got to New Zealand.  For instance food: I had never had marmite, fejoas, or pavlova until I got to NZ, and that's totally reasonable as they are NZ food. The strange ones are that I never like green beans, tomatoes, mustard, avacado... the list is a bit strange and growing and now I not only eat them, but enjoy them regularly.
But the one that is really chaffing me is that I never got lost before I got to New Zealand and now I seem to be more lost than not. Strangely and most thankfully, this feeling of displacement only is challenging with my geographical situation and I actually feel more comfortable and secure with my personal life, emotions, ect.
Seriously, though, I used to pride myself not only on being able to adventure out and about with directional ease, but even was able to give others directions. I know this is in large part to having spent so much time in the places I had been, but come on! I have been here four months and literally just last week successfully found the fast way home from the highway (you know the one I take a couple times a week!).
A friend and I went to back to the Waitakare Ranges last weekend and again ended up not only displaced but on the complete wrong side of the trail (on a highway in fact) with little to no effort on our part - it was shocking and beyond irritating.  I now am someone who gets lost... a lot. Seeing as this doesn't seem to being changing or even getting much better (like missing the bus), then I am actively practicing having a better, more comedic look at myself and my surroundings each time they become altered in unforeseeable and unidentifiable ways.
Anyways, we had a pretty good time, played in some mud, concluded we needed hiking boots, and really did have a good time. We are going back to the same trail this weekend, with our new boots, to try it again.
Saturday night I babysat and Sunday I went to Newmarket for some shopping and a movie.
I am always shocked at how much I look forward to the weekends, how little I seem to get accomplished - though I feel busy, and how fast they go. I know this is a common occurrence for everyone I know, but I have never felt it so strongly while at the same time not really being stressed or worried about it. I am trying to focus on always getting the most out of my time, even or maybe especially if that is just watching a movie while babysitting. If I get the most of my time, whatever that is, then it would seem to make sense that everything will get done at exactly the right time and pace.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Jersey Boys!

My muscles have recovered from a tricky and invigorating Friday night at a rock climbing gym out west of Auckland. I of course got a bit displaced getting there, but it was good practice at altering my attitude towards the inconvenience and irritation of traveling the scenic route accidentally. It may not have been every 22yr-olds prefect Friday night, but I loved it, plus I was home in time to watch the Warriors (Auckland's Rugby League team) play.
Inside the Civic is beautiful
Saturday I woke up to make homemade, buttermilk pancakes for the family (the have been voted the best in the house and Mackay inhaled about six!) and then I went back to bed to read and have a nap. A little work out and a fabulous dinner with the grandparents and some family friends made a very yummy and relaxing day.
With my "Fallen Angel" in hand
As an outing I did for Au Pair Link I wandered down Richmond Road for a little brunch at Malt Bar on Sunday morning and then aimlessly jumped on the bus downtown. I was, again, in a bit of an off mood so considered seeing a movie, but ended up whimsically buy a ticket for the 1pm showing of Jersey Boys, the musical! It was absolutely fantastic.  Having just decided to go without any prep or anticipation it was a bit less then it could have been - what I mean is I really can't say enough for the power or appreciation of planning and anticipating great things and then for them to happen, instead just stumbling upon them.
On the bus ride home I was contemplating the origins of my glum moods on the weekends. My week days are so demanding and busy, the recovery may be a bit harder than I give myself credit for. It is also difficult to balance planning exciting (and demanding) events for my days off and remembering to just say in bed a little longer just to relax.

Another angle I considered is that I am not entirely sure what is left of a person when their culture, family, friends, jobs, routines, home, and general comfort and convenience (that word again) is altered or stripped away. I think it leaves me with my values and self-nurtured resources and who knows what else. I also have a hard time understanding or sympathizing with myself when I am in anything but a happy-go-lucky mood, because I can't find a cause for any other attitude. I am so grateful for where I have taken my life and it is sometimes hard to remember and appreciate what that really means.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Back to Routine

I can't believe it is already the middle of May and almost Winter here. Time moves differently when the year isn't defined by a school schedule, but by a two-year old's and the opposite seasons thing just seems funny. It is definitely beginning to feel and look more like fall so my brain just keeps thinking its getting towards the end of the year, not the middle, oh well by the time all these little nuances have become normal I will have to just switch back.
Mackay and I have kicked our colds, Mia is feeling better after her three-month immunizations, Andrew is back from Germany and Mother's Day celebrations are over so we are all gettting back to our routines - thank goodness.
Friday night I went out with another au pair to an Auckland Blues rugby union game. Since they were competing for the 15th position in the Super15 competition, I wasn't expecting a whole heck of a lot so it was surprising and exciting  for them to win. It was a bit chilly and there was barely a crowd, but it was still a blast.
Saturday was a laid back day with babysitting in the evening. Sunday was also mellow with some family and friends over for afternoon tea and dinner. Yesterday, I took Mackay to the Degas - Dali exhibit  which went pretty well considering how tired he was and that, you know, he is 23months old and maybe hasn't refined his tastes for fine art.

It has rained heavily about a dozen times already today, with wind and a bit of sunshine in between, so I am going to curl up under my duvet and wool blanket for some reading before going back to work this afternoon.
The rest of the week holds rain, with a chance of showers, a parenting workshop put on by Au Pair Link, and some rock climbing.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fairy Falls and the Sky Tower

It was a long and busy week to which the days seemed to have mushed into one another. Mackay graciously shared his cold with me so neither of us were our best to start the week, and Andrew spend the last 10 days in Germany for work. It was a long week, that easily could have been worse. Enough said.

Mackay and Mia went on their first trip to the Sky Tower with Andrea and I on Saturday. Being the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere and the icon of the Auckland skyline it is an obvious "must do" Auckland tourist trap. It was a beautiful fall day and the view was spectacular. What was probably better than the view was watch Mackay try to not step on the glass parts of the floor, that is until we 'stomped like an elephant' on them and he had deemed then secure.

A fellow au pair and I went back to the Waitakare on Sunday to hike Fairy Falls. As usual the guide book and trail signs over estimated our trip time by about double so it took us a little over an hour. The views and varied flora and fauna were well worth the trip.