I woke up this morning AGAIN at ~3:15, making it the 4th day in a row I have woken up in the 3:00-4:00 a.m. hour. Today though, I felt determined to fall back to sleep. (The last few days I didn’t really fight it and basically just got up extra early.)
But I have been sooooooo tired the last several days, and I’ve had enough of it.
So I tried to lay there very calmly, with my eyes closed, just breathing….and breathing….trying to drift back to sleep. I finally did. I think it took over an hour, but I did. (We had a rainstorm move through with some light thunder, so that actually helped. Who doesn’t like a soft thunderstorm for sleeping?!)
I turned my alarm off and decided to just (hopefully) sleep until the boys had to get up for school (around 7 am). When 7 rolled around, I definitely felt like I could have kept sleeping! I’m feeling better/ much more chipper now though with the extra hours.
Some random thoughts:
(Note from the editor…errr, me: This could/ should probably be a more organized, well thought out post, but, nah. 😄 Here’s my 5 minute, off the cuff version instead):
International travel is a very, very interesting thing. It is EYE OPENING in every sense of the word. I mean, it never ceases to just blow my mind how differently people live in other parts of the world- even in areas that “seem”, on paper, that they might be fairly similar in many ways.
And then it kind of scares me to think how many people around the world have NEVER left their own country, state, or town, or whatever…. It would be so easy to just really have no concept of these differences! It’s one of those things, too, that I really feel like you just need to experience for yourself.
The boys noticed.
Ireland is very different from the U.S. Italy is also very, very different from the U.S.! And even Italy and Ireland are very different from each other.
At the end of the trip, we were chatting, and they both said they were so glad and felt so lucky to have visited some other countries now. (Thank God they appreciate this!! Ivan and I were talking about how we absolutely need to make sure they understand that this type of travel is expensive, a “luxury”/ something we’ve had to work very hard, make certain life choices and prioritize to be able to do, and NOT to be taken for granted.)
We discussed with the boys how important it is to stop and think about these many differences, to realize that the world, does not, in fact, revolve around YOU and your way of living and your customs. It’s a great big world out there!
Not that there is anything wrong with “preferring” your own way of life- I think everyone probably does! We’re used things being a certain way, and that’s totally fine. I know there’s a little part of me that always sighs with relief when I get home to the U.S. and things feel “normal” again. We (or at least I) gravitate toward what we know and what feels most comfortable. I’m no expert, but I’d guess that’s probably universal human nature.
But it’s just really important to be aware that there are many, many ways of life out there.
- eat very different foods and drink.
- talk differently! Use different words! (Toilet vs. bathroom. Lift vs. elevator. Crisps vs chips. Chips vs fries! Tidy vs clean up. The list goes on and on.) Speak different languages!
- drive on the other side of the road. Drive different styles of cars!
- have different “tipping” customs (and different restaurant etiquette re: requesting the check, for example)
- eat and drink in different portion sizes!
- have different customs surrounding interacting with strangers/ eye contact/ etc.
- dress differently!
- use outlet plugs that look different (and are of different voltage! 😉 )
- use different looking street signs. Ambulance and police sirens sound different! Taxis look different. etc.
- The list could go on forever. 🙂
- (Everybody smiles the same, though. 😉❤)
There’s no “one way”. And I think travel is one of the best ways to really get that concept- it’s one of those things that is hard to fully understand until you just live it and feel it firsthand.
Thought of the Day:
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.” – Melody Beattie
I am grateful for a little “reset” after our trip. I always feel like after being away, it’s a good time to re-set any bad habits, routines, etc. It’s a fresh start.