Out With the New In With the Old

Hello dear listeners, it is a new year, and still early enough in said year that it hasn’t become incredibly tacky to remind everyone of that fact. As many of you likely know, the big bad holiday season has come and gone and we have survived the Chris Cringling and the happying of years new. I have been away from writing for the last two weeks, for reasons just explained. It has been a long and busy break with a great many interesting events, events that will make their way into these records should I continue this record long enough. Now that the festive winterpocalypse has rolled on past to leave us with the plain old mundane winterpocalypse, I am attempting the return to normalcy, and part of that is continuing this blog, woo, go team!

Truth be told, and I’m sure this won’t win me any special unique snowflake awards, but the holiday season played the part of Joe Pesci moving to Miami only to take a taped up lead pipe to the unsuspecting kneecaps of my work ethic. Or something along those lines, I’ve never been a fan of The Godfather series. In the span of two weeks I managed to completely de-familiarize myself with my own schedule. From a rational perspective I seem to remember that before the break all of these pieces of a week fitted together nice and snug in the hours I allotted them. I certainly haven’t added any new pressing pulls on my time. The jigsaw is all a jumble and refitting the pieces will take some time.

The same as everyone else on the planet I am struggling to bounce back into the swing post vacation. I have begun to backslide a little ways into my lazy ways. After a vacation in which there was much tiring travel and too little sleep, there’s the whispering specter implying that you have been tired, that you deserve the chance to kick off your shoes and relax.Then as you spend the next 8 hours of your life staring at a screen, basking in the gaping vortex of random information that is the internet, the brain does its best to justify inaction as well deserved recuperation from whatever ill is plaguing that day. Tired? Watch a video. Not feeling it? Sit on your ever expanding ass. Hungry? Eat that fourth grilled cheese, you deserved it, you’ve had a long day.

The problem is that I indeed have not had a long day and almost never have. See, the teaching position that I am in right now seats me at a hyper generous 25 work hours per week. Add on a half hour of travel time per day and that brings me up to a grand total of 28 or so hours per week allotted to work. Now I may not be a mathematician, but I do have a good idea of what number is bigger than another. I have so much free time that I see just slipping by the wayside as I could be self-improving in all the ways I know I should be.

Back to the continuation of past events, oh boy this is going to start getting confusing. Where I left off in my story is still somewhere in late August to early September, but I’m making asides referring to Christmas and mid-January. This whole continuity of events would be so much simpler without the whole passage of time thing making my posts out of date. Damn you constant universal force, you’ve made a fool of me again!

At the end of the previous chapter we had in a rather rapid and somewhat to highly discombobulating manner been relocated to our new domesticity by a nice man who didn’t speak English. Our new home for the next ten months is located in a building that at first struck me as imposing. This could be because the city of Budapest, the country of Hungary, and most countries located in its immediate vicinity used to be not so happily located in the former Soviet Bloc. Because of this, most of the buildings that aren’t hundreds of years old possess an architectural style one would be safe in classifying as Communist Chic. Buildings belonging to this phylum and genus are approximately seven Europe Land Stories or eight United States Freedom Floors tall. They are towering concrete constructions with relatively little ornamentation built in. These grey towers are clustered together in large groups to create vertical suburbs.  Austere is a description that could be bandied about. In addition I have never lived anywhere other than a two story wood construction nestled at the forested base of a mountainside.

On location at our very own monochromatic spire we were met by two new strangers who this time did actually speak English. These strangers we later learned were my and my girlfriend’s section heads at school, a fact I’m sure they told us. However, at this point I had slipped into my go with the flow attitude where I only really take in the broad strokes of information. We were led to the tippy topmost floor where we were to reside. Stepping out of the elevator there is a metal security gate that we have to unlock to get onto the open air hallway lined on one side with entries to the apartments. Directly opposite our door is a nearly unimpeded view west towards the city and the hills. I know that it isn’t the most breathtaking vista I’ve ever experienced in my life, but that wasn’t what was important. Something about this view elicited calm from me. It was a momentary reassurance of the sanity of my move. The choices made that had led me here seemed to make a slight more sense in that brief glimpse across the landscape. In moments of introspection I take the step through the front portal to gaze out and relive that fleeting solace.

We were given the grand tour of the flat which amounted to our guides saying here’s a room, what a nice room, there is the next room. Contacts, direction, and advice were exchanged and they vacated to get on with their hectic schedules of getting a school back up and running post summer vacation. Before their exodus, we were informed that we had a day or two free before we were expected to show up to work, and there we were. Alone save each other, with naught to do but ponder the coming challenges.

So it is here, now, as I hunch over my laptop tapping out the past and wondering on the future. The rational part of my mind says that change comes day to day, a steady stream of effort carving the valley. The romantic however has always been swept up in the rejuvenation of spirits echoing from the end of something as grand yet fleeting as a year. Another one gone to memory and reaction with what gained? Is progress attained? If it is so, then is there purpose? Tune in for this new year and new self.

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