|My carry-on from the trip here, contents nearly identical to what I'll be taking for the way back|
We are one day from embarking on another few weeks of nomad living, as our whirlwind tour in Okinawa reaches its end. From the time we got our orders here last February, our entire life has been consumed with getting us all approved to come here, getting our stuff here, getting ourselves here, getting our stuff back (last shipment gets picked up Monday!), and seven months after our plane touched down here, getting ourselves back to the States. Here's what we're staring down the barrel of next weekend:
-Takeoff Saturday morning
- Two stops in mainland Japan, both taking an hour or two to get to and lasting one to two hours each
- 9 hours to Seattle, where we will get all our luggage and go through Customs
- 13 hours later..
- 6 hours to Boston (where I hear it's still winter, eek!)
Back in January, I clicked on some random word generator in one of the blogs I read, in order to get my "word of the year." It was escape. I dismissed it right away, thinking to myself, 'Ha! There's no escaping what's coming for me these next few months. Escape is not an option for me.'
While it may be true that I'm not sitting on a beach somewhere with a drink in my hand waiting for it all to be over, I have found that my escapes have come in many forms and have been invaluable to my mental and emotional health.
A good book has always been one of my favorite ways to escape from reality, and I have been reading like a fool. I have three sources for borrowing books on my Kindle: The Navy Library, Prime Reading and Formed.org. As for Prime Reading, surprisingly* there have been some diamonds in that rough. Two of my recent favorites are The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom and How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough. I'm always checking back to see what's new. Formed is a source for mainly Catholic books and other media, but also has a collection of classics like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, which I'd never read before but figured better late than never. The Navy Library is where I wait for months at a time to get my hands on popular books like Hillbilly Elegy (interesting stuff!) and Dark Matter (which did not live up to the hype).
If you're looking for books and like my taste in reading, you can follow me in Goodreads.
Recently I went for a pedicure with a friend -- one last time for that fun nail art at Cocok (pronounced Coco) that we all have to get in Okinawa. I also had an unprecedented two massages in two months. There's a place a short walking distance away that I was given a gift certificate for a while back. I came home raving about it because it had been heavenly and such a treat. A few weeks later when I was stressing out about something, Tim told me to call that place and schedule another massage ASAP. I did so without delay, and was so happy I did. Before this, I think the last massage I'd gotten was several years before, and probably many years after the last time. Getting pampered: a much-needed escape.
|This pic is from the first time I went to Cocok, and took my girls with me.|
Back in December I finally found the courage to try my hand at coloring my own hair because the grays, not surprisingly with all that's going on, had gotten out of control. I'm OK with going gray, but I need to be evenly gray throughout (preferably silver), in order to want to sport it. I was at a stage where I was heavily gray at the temples but not much anywhere else. It just wasn't pretty. To my relief, it worked! Now I was uniformly brunette, but almost a little too dark. About a week and a half later, it faded to the perfect shade, and I'm so much happier than I was with the color I was getting at the salon, which turned a tired rusty color within days (and cost about seven times as much!). This is what I use, and I'm thinking of going just a shade lighter next time. Coloring my own hair may not sound like much of an escape, but it gives me a real feeling of satisfaction. I'll still need the salon for haircuts.
Just getting out of from inside these walls is enough of an escape sometimes. We get so caught up in what needs to be done, cooking, cleaning, getting ready for the next day, etc., that sometimes we have to remind ourselves to get out and go somewhere -- out in the fresh air, on a family walk, down to the beach to look at the sunset. We're always glad we did.
Tim and I have gone out to dinner just the two of us about once a month these past few months. That is not typical for us. We've always found hiring a babysitter and going off in search of a good place to eat more hassle than it's worth. But here, we've got to because it's never been this easy. We've got a babysitter who lives right down the street and a fun walk to restaurants and shopping on the water. Tomorrow we will pack our suitcases and move into a hotel. Tonight I wasted 20 minutes curling my hair just so it could rain as we were going out the door; and we went out to dinner to celebrate 11 years of wedded bliss. Date night with the hubby: a perfect escape.
All this to say, my life is good. 😊 I'll try to remember that next week when we're over the Pacific and Joey's fussing next to me in his carseat. Some prayers would be appreciated.
* I say surprisingly because it's free with Prime membership, and when I subscribed to a free trial of Kindle Unlimited (I think it would have cost $10 a month after the trial), I found it to be absolutely worthless, just a garbage heap of the worst books I'd ever seen. So I get the quality books for free, but I'd have to pay $10 a month for nothing but trash. Hmm..