Today was actually a pretty good day, considering that I only got about five hours of sleep last night and I was literally the only secretary there. At least I was busy. Most of the directors were gone (although Rick managed to call me three times on his day off) so it was mostly catching up on emails and confirming flight details.
When I look back over the last three weeks, I can't believe how quickly they flew by. The flight over was nice--thanks to Nytol I slept most of the way and arrived as stumbly as Jingles after a visit to the vet. Chris was courteous enough to pick me up and let me cry on her several times over the course of the evening. Before I left mom warned me that my uncle was coming home from the hospital and when I called her to say I arrived safely I found out that he passed away. I was so glad that I could detox and deal with culture shock at a friendly house--I think I might have frightened my parents with my combination of jetlag, Nytol withdrawl, stress and drama. Luckily, I reentered society fairly quickly--two days after I landed I was watching the Packers game, drinking Spotted Cow and eating cheese curds.
The first week was taken up with memorial services for my uncle. The best way to describe him is like the title character in Mr. Holland's Opus, only more popular. It was so wonderful to see everyone in the family and all his former students, but I will be honest and say it was also very stressful.
I honestly spent most of my time watching TV and eating. And drinking good Wisconsin beer. Even when I went to visit my hetero-life mate, Laura, all we did was watch TV and drink beer. And bake cookies to eat. But it was so wonderful to not have to worry about the stress of work and getting on the Tube and being able to eat as much as I wanted and turn up the heat. I love going home and just hanging out. Although, I do tend to sort of flounce through stores now and go "GOD! aren't these clothes hideous?!" (not that that stopped me from spending an entire paycheck on new clothes. Woo.)
I didn't completely slack, however. I finally redeemed my Barnes and Noble giftcards for two books "Lies My Teacher Told Me" and "His Excellency" which is about George Washington. I don't know if my brain connected everything I read, but everytime I read a new idea or had a firmly held belief challenged I felt some neurons firing that had been dormant for quite a while. I LOVE READING! I love thinking. I'm going to become a teacher so I can stand up in front of a class of students and wave books at them while screaming about how cool George Washington is.
I spent Christmas Eve at my Aunt Margie's house with her family--the best part was my little cousins Katie and John helping everyone to open their pressies. That's the problem with our family: not enough babies. Christmas Day we had our open house and invited all our family back. I did my best to inflict damage on my mom's cooking, but, alas, I was repealed by sheer numbers of meatballs, weenies and cheesy potatoes. Which is probably why we spent the days before New Year's sleeping in front of the TV. (although I did see "Night at the Museum." Best part: Civil War dummies getting shot and "bleeding" stuffing. haha.)
So now I'm back in London. I wrote in my journal the other night "I don't know whether I'm happy to be back in England, or just happy to be back in some kind of routine," but I did have to have a stern talking to myself about getting nostalgic about the smell of bus fumes.
New Year's Resolutions:
1. Be better about financial things and not spending money like slippery water.
2. Get serious about being a vegetarian.
As soon as I finish this buffalo wing sauce...