The countdown has started for me! This is our last Sunday night in the farmhouse. Next Sunday, we go to Paris, where we'll sight see and shop for the day, do the Eiffel Tower at night and then stay at a hotel near the airport so we can leave France Monday morning. This last week, I refused to start counting down the days...but it's time to start. The summer has been an incredible experience in so many ways. It's been challenging and fun and enlightening...I'm looking forward to writing about all of my aha moments after I'm home. I'm not really ready to come home...I could probably stay another month before I really felt the pull to come home (although, three weeks ago, I was ready to get the heck out of here). However, I'm not unhappy to come home. I've definitely had enough time away. My stress level is completely different. My pace in attacking my days has been cut in half (I seldom rise before 9 am, unless we're off on a train day, and often stay up until midnight or 1 am). Those who know that I like to be in bed by 8 when I am at home will be shocked to hear this! I have been trying to not multi-task as much. When I'm doing something, I concentrate on doing it...not on doing 6 different things at once. Of course, that's because there's not the pressure to get as much done while I'm here...but it's something that I'm hoping to bring home with me.
I've had two months of family meals! We've eaten every single meal together, every day. (Now some of those days we only ate 2 meals...but they've all been together.) That's quite an accomplishment and something that I don't want to give up. We haven't had any tv...so we've talked at all our meals (except those where we were so starved that no words were spoken for the first 20 minutes or so...there have been a few of those!) I don't know how James and Ethan are going to feel about no tv at dinnertime (we usually impose that rule 2 or 3 nights a week), but I think we should consider it every night. I'm definitely looking forward to eating Dream Dinners again. I'll tell you, cooking every night (or almost every night) without Dream Dinners has been a challenge. I love to cook, but after awhile, figuring out what to cook is a pain in the backside. I'm looking forward to having that issue solved for me again!
Since we've been here, I've read more than 40 books. Thank goodness for Kindle! I love to read and usually read 3-5 books a month...but this summer has been great in reconnecting with my imagination. I haven't read anything too deep or meaningful...but somehow...all the books I've read have been the right ones.
I haven't spent too much time on the computer, other than blogging. I haven't done a lot of surfing, checking FB and Twitter every other day or so (except for those 15 days when we had no internet at all, which turned out to be the perfect way to get me comfortable with being off-line).
The biggest change in time sucking activities for me has been no tv at night. At home, I'll go to be and watch a few hours of complete crap before falling asleep. I've had two months without crap tv and haven't missed it at all. I'm wondering if I can keep this up when I go home or if I will fall back into my bad habits. I know it really depends upon my intentions and I haven't decided yet what those intentions are. I'll be sure to let you know once I do!
James and I have decided we're going to take a conversational French class together. We're definitely going to be spending more time in France and are looking forward to being able to communicate much better than we can now. (At this point, everyone can go into a bakery and order our daily bread, politely and without having to repeat themselves more than once. Everyone except Kerry can order water...turns out she thought the word for water was azul (you know, blue in Spanish), instead of eau...no idea where she got that...but every time she's alone trying to get a bottle of water she's asking for azul! No wonder our bakery lady still looks at us as if we're crazy!)
Well, enough of my Sunday night ramblings. We have an action packed week ahead of us, squeezing in two more trips to Paris and a few more adventures closer to home. I'm sad the summer is coming to a close...Ethan and Lukas will start school a week after we return, whereas all the girls have to start the day after we return...as their schools start before we even return. However, I have a feeling I'll be staying at my new summer pace for a few months at least...so maybe I'll be able to fool myself that this is really the endless summer.