Hi. How are you? It’s been so long. Too long. And for that I am truly sorry. So much has happened since I last checked in.
I’m now 40 years old, for goodness sake. (I haven’t been away that long; I was 39 the last time I posted.) My thirties were defined by enormous life changes that will continue to have repercussions well through my forties. And with the wisdom of (30 days of) hindsight, I can say that those changes were all good.
However, this milestone is not what has kept me away from posting here about life as an expat; it has been work. Work, of all things! I can’t get into specifics (no, Mom, I’m not a spy, I swear; I have an NDA with the client), but suffice it to say that I severely misjudged the constraints this job would have on my daily life and the plans I had made for 2011.
For one, I have to wake up early in the morning to send out a report. Yes. Me, waking to an alarm clock. So you can already guess how that’s working out. Mornings are very Princess and the Pea at my house. Furthering my battle with that dastardly pea, I have to send out an afternoon report as well. Goodbye, long lunches! It’s back to the trenches for you, Princess.
Another aspect is that I no longer have weekend evenings free. Weekends, when I wanted to take trips around France and then write about it. You know, like I’ve wanted to do ever since I became a freelance writer? Yeah, not so much.
Lastly, it has turned into a 24/7 job of making sure everything is going OK for my client, with email alerts and a complicated SMS system I rigged together and other various and sundry “emergency” things. If there’s anything I like less than being awakened by an alarm clock each morning, it’s being awakened in the middle of the night by my cell phone. And trust me when I say, this is not nearly as serious as Hillary’s “3AM phone call.”
Despite these horrendous and intolerable working conditions for a Princess such as myself, I must say that I do not regret taking the job. It’s been fascinating, and a chance for me to stretch those nerd/wonk/analyst muscles that had atrophied during my more glamorous prose-writing days.
And, it’s not like I’m shivering in a corner of a basement. I was able to travel to Rome after Christmas, where I remain until the end of January. I was able to celebrate a fantastic New Year’s Eve with the Gay Mafia and other assorted usual suspects (albeit checking my iPod Touch for alerts every 10 minutes). And just this past Sunday, I walked for miles up and down and around the Gianicolo hill here in Rome, and watched a spectacular sunset over the whole of my beloved city. I’m also planning to return to Montpel via Paris to see a friend.
But yesterday was a 17-hour workday, and there will be more like it I’m sure. And when that happens, chickadees, unfortunately this wonderful, treasured blog of mine does not get updated. And here in Rome, which is just now limping its way into the previous century, an Internet connection is a rare thing – for the most part I work, and am writing this, OUTSIDE because that is where the connection is strong – so I don’t get the chance to write at whim.
This will all resolve itself eventually. But for now, I will update when I can. That’s the best I can give you right now. Please bear with me in this difficult time for Princess!