While sitting in the car this morning, waiting for a parent to move their car so I could get out of the car space and on my way a niggling thought crept into my mind, but I stopped it.
I pushed it aside.
I told myself - ENOUGH already.
This is NOT Yokohama.
This is NOT an expat gig.
This is reality.
Get used to it.
And you know what. IT WORKED.
Happily resigned to the fact that there will be no mass coffee morning, with 20+ friends impromptly gathering at Starbucks to smile and chat (loudly) about their holiday adventures and make plans. I, like millions of normal non working mums, I'll get on with my day doing whatever it is we do to fill in time between drop off and pick up.
I drove out of my car space, and headed to the supermarket with the radio blaring.
The car got washed, vacc'd and a quick polish while I shopped for real, and not online.
I drove home, unpacked the shopping, put the slow cooker on, made a coffee, did a load of washing, watched The Descendants while having a sandwich for lunch, hung up the washing, checked a few emails, started writing this blog and soon it will be time to collect MissM from school.
We're making a Victoria Sponge cake when she gets home instead of the usual Monday tutoring (that starts next week)
Tomorrow I'm getting my hair done.
Hopefully Wednesday will be (at least) fine, and I'm meeting a friend for a walk. Ballet resumes for MissM after school.
Thursday is a long day. MissM's not home til 5.10pm. Will pull out the photo albums and do several hours of work towards finally finishing our Japan memories. I'm only 12+ months behind.
Friday morning is the weekly school assembly followed this week by the term coffee morning at one of the mums homes in Winchester.
That's my week - normal, quiet, normal, frickin' boring, but normal and that's fine.
From what the mums share at pick up time about their day, they are washing, ironing, cleaning, grocery shopping, if not working full or part time. They are walking dogs, renovating, about to renovate, or just finished. They are selling their home, or looking to buy a new one.
Most people do things on their own, and I will have to grow up and learn to do things on my own too, tho with out a dog to walk, any form of renovation to be done, real estate to swap my odd day at Ikebana, and (hopefully) volunteer work will offer a frame of reference for me, so I too can be busy.
A British friend from Yokohama has repatriated and she agrees what a shock to the system 'real' life is. As she rightly said, Yokohama is un real. Very few people in the real world spend up to 40 minutes chatting on the playground at drop off; or know that if they walk to the local Starbucks they will bump into a min 4 friends waiting to chat; that it takes a min 3 people to drive to Costco for groceries, or that 14 ladies will meet at the train station for a day of temple touring; or a Parents meeting is planned over a pot luck lunch; or it takes a whole day to find the tailor you were recommended to; or paying bills takes 1/2 a day; or having a hair cut and colour is a marathon requiring a friend to be on call just incase you are late back for pick up.
None of that is real, unless you live there.
A literal drop off in the morning then on with the day ...................
Now that I think I've learnt the 'trick', wish me luck that (a) I get used to this quickly and (b) I keep a positive open mind about things and I can stop my mind from wandering to the un real time i spent in Yokohama.