Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ground Hog Day!

My hubby has a motto: ‘Trust no-one – not even yourself’. No – He hasn’t got many friends. He thinks it is a good maxim by which to live your life, especially at work. It goes against my nature and I tend to trust everyone until I’m given a reason not to. Invariably I am too often presented with one. Maybe he is right about other people, but not trusting yourself? He explained it to me and I thought maybe it is a good way to think. We can trust ourselves least of all – take New Year’s resolutions – can you be sure you will keep them? I have lost count of the number of times I have said I won’t have a drink and caved in at the first whiff of wine. Even more stupid is the fact that, knowing I get bad hangovers I still drink too much. I can’t trust myself to stop- or not to start in the first place.
The 2nd February is Groundhog Day – celebrated in the United States. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, it will leave the burrow, signifying that winter will soon end. If on the other hand, it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly "see its shadow" and retreat back into its burrow, and winter will continue for six more weeks. This made me think of the film where Bill Murray gets up to report the weather on Ground Hog Day. The same day is repeated over and over. He finally works out that you don’t have to make the same stupid mistakes and his life is much improved. I guess he finally learns to trust himself.
I have a daily Groundhog Day because everything looks the same in America- seriously – drive in any direction and you come to a strip Mall (row of shops) that looks exactly the same (although that could be because I have no sense of direction and they are the same!!!).  Worryingly, I have a very particular Groundhog experience going on at the moment.  It happens on a particular day of the week… Sunday, while the good, godly folk of North Carolina go to their various churches we go to the church of capitalism – The Shopping Mall. Every week I find myself drawn to the most beautiful furniture shop, full of beautiful big furniture (inspired by Europe and then supersized!). Every week I find a piece, different from the last, I get a quote and then I go home and cry!
I think I go there because it is my biological instinct to nest - to make my home as nice as possible (or/and because I am a desperate housewife!). I buy nothing because it isn’t my home. We rent. If I were to buy something to fill a gaping gap in our huge rented house (because the rest of our English furniture is pixie size), then it wouldn’t fit into any house we could afford in the UK. I don’t seem to learn from this and go again and again! This might seem trivial to you but it reflects the ground hog nature of this adventure and my inability to trust myself!
I did more in the first 6 months of being here, that took me out of my comfort zone, than I had done for years. It was great. And now? I have become Bill Murray (only better looking) doing the same things every day and not learning, looking at furniture I am not going to buy, sharing cup-cake recipes I am not going to cook… I feel displaced from ‘normal’ life. Apparently, according to hubby, it is a known phenomenon for ex-pats– I have hit the 6 month wall – excitement (more like massive stress) over, reality kicking in and I’m wondering what the bloody hell I am doing here.  He noted when he had finished explaining, ‘That was a big sigh’. I corrected him – it was a small scream!
I posted ‘I’m feeling kinda homesick’ on face book. A sweetie replied ‘are you mad? Make the most of it, you narna!’ He is right. I am going to trust myself more not less! There is a lot to be said for gut instinct and trusting that! I am going to stop feeling like Edvard Munch’s scream. I am not waiting to see if the sun shines or is cloudy on 2nd February. My winter is over! No more trying to fit in because I trust myself well enough to know that I never will. I am going to stick my head out of the burrow, above the parapet and look for adventure… again… and again… and again…


  1. Don't show them your blogs! lol

  2. Go girl, u dont hide! Stick ur head out! do what u want, when u want....

    You get ur fix every time you return to the uk, your real home

  3. hey - you know me - never one to be quiet for long!

  4. We all look at things we can't have, but if you enjoy it why not.It is like ground hog day in a way , daughter doing exaltly what mother does on a regulal basis

  5. The point is - I dont enjoy it! it feels pointless! I need some purpose and focus back in my life! Too much time on my hands and I dont know what to do with it!

  6. as u know i have been working for some time with deluded individuals who want to be headteachers - 'do as i say not as i do (did)' but two weeks ago at our first residential weekend we introduced them to appreciative enquiry - i think it may be worth a try for you in NC - try googling it and see what you think

  7. Hey - I'm living the dream already!
    ...Maybe time to find my own dream!