Whenever you move to a new area, you have to go through the task of reestablishing your routines. You have to decide where your glasses and silverware go in your new kitchen, and how to arrange things in your new bathroom. You have to find your grocery store, drug store, dentist, doctor, veterinarian if you’re a fur parent, etc. It can be fun exploring and trying out different places to see what you like best. It can also make you feel like a tourist in your own town while you’re relying on Google Maps to get to the hardware store.
I’ve been trying out different grocery stores over the last couple weeks, but I have to admit that I miss getting my Imperfect Foods delivery every week. It was so convenient, the produce was great, the customer service was awesome, and they kept adding new and fun products. Alas, until my mom moves up (she volunteered to do our food runs), I have to resort to doing my grocery shopping in person.
Actually leaving the house to buy groceries is one of several routine adjustments I’m making for my new Maine life. I was spoiled by apartment living and the ability to just walk downstairs and toss my trash and recycling into a dumpster. Here, I have to load it in the car and drive to the local dump, I mean, “solid waste facility.” I totally screwed up the first time I went and drove to the wrong area of the facility, but the workers there were nice about it and let me dump my trash bags without circling around to the entrance and starting the process over. Next time, I have to figure out the recycling.
An unexpected visitor triggered another adjustment. I was making pasta for dinner one night, took the pot off the stove to drain the water, and there was a little field mouse just chilling in the sink! Luckily, he was very chill, so I was able to find a plastic container to scoop him into and take him back outside without any fuss. Not wanting to give him or his friends incentive to come back, I’m developing the habit of washing dishes or putting them in the dishwasher immediately after use. No more leaving my breakfast plate on the counter because I’ll probably want second breakfast in a couple hours and I don’t want to use a second plate. I also make sure any kibble the dogs don’t eat goes back into the bag, now stored in a sealed container.
It’s funny the little differences I notice as I go about my daily home routine, like how much farther it is to walk from one end of the house to the other, compared to my old 700-square foot apartment. I can’t play music on my phone and leave it in one spot while I do chores around the house because I can’t hear it when I get two rooms away. The first few days we were in the house, I kept losing my phone because I’d set it down and then forget where I left it!
Slowly, I’m finding my rhythm. It’s a process of finding the right combination of new and old routines to make the most out of my new life here. Old routine: I took time to workout before making dinner on Friday. New routine: I spent about 3 hours mowing all of the lawns yesterday. Old routine: I logged into a Zoom call with my mentor/coach yesterday. New routine: I left the house to go grocery shopping this morning. Old routine: I enjoyed a glass (or two) of wine with dinner. New routine: I made sure there were no dishes left in the sink or sitting out on the counter before I went to bed. Old routine: I’m writing my weekly blog post!
In between establishing my new/old routine, working, and contacting tradespeople for various house projects, dance has been on my mind too (not sure how there is room left in my brain but there it is). I’m getting closer to the point where I’ll be set up enough in the house that I can make the time and space for some regular solo practice. I almost signed up for a local Zumba class, but my social anxiety got the best of me and I didn’t go through with it. Maybe next week. Training with Teacher will be delayed while we make plans to pay for a new roof, but there are always group classes. There are also Maine-based ballroom dancers that I’m eager to meet!
I’m taking my time though. Just meeting with a roofer and an electrician plus checking out a new market all in one day left me feeling socialed out. My coach reminded me that I just did a HUGE thing by picking up my whole life and moving it to the opposite corner of the country! Oh yeah, that was kinda big, huh? I guess I don’t need to feel pressured to slide right into my Maine rhythm straight away. I could chill like the mouse in the sink for a bit.