As all of you know, Xan and I have been expecting to be somewhere but here in Utah for two months now, specifically in Iceland. Yet, here we are still in Utah. With no jobs, homework, and nearby friends (ones within 5-10 miles of us that are our age), many people have asked me about what we do with our time, where we live, and how we survive. Here are a few things to both answer the questions and share what I have learned from this experience so far.
So, to answer the first question: What do we do with our time? Our day usually begins around 9:30 am. That is the average time that I wake up and leave the room. (Xan is a VERY light sleeper so he usually gets his best sleep after I leave the room.) I’ll generally shower, get ready, then turn on the tv. Xan gets up around 11:00 am and comes out to join me watching tv. Through-out the day, he’ll study his physics books for the GRE test he’ll take in a few weeks, snack on popsicles, browse the internet about amphibians and natural terrariums, and read his new books he got on poison dart frogs. I will study Chinese (yes, I actually am studying it again), read a new book Xan got me on physics, watch 24 or Charmed, study my cook’s cookbook, make a fabulous dinner, and do stretching exercises. We try to spend a few hours a day in separate rooms to decrease the chance of getting too annoyed with each other. It sounds negative, I know. We are in love and should want to be together all day of everyday but trust me. It gets old really quickly. If we had normal lives right now, one of us or both of us would be leaving for about 8 hours 5 days a week. Our few hours a part separation works surprisingly well and keeps us enjoying the time that we do spend together. Our day usually ends around 2:00 am, although I occasionally fall asleep around midnight before Xan. We do run errands about 2 or 3 times a week. We have looked up and gone to a lot of local pet shops. We stop at almost every petco we drive by. Since ‘How I Met Your Mother’ season three has come out, we go to Costco frequently to see if it is there yet. And, on occasion, we get together with some of our old college friends for special events or exhibits. Overall, its really not that bad. Now that I’m out of school and don’t have homework to stress over, I’m trying to actually learn all the basics of education. I want to relearn science, math, grammar, ect. Our days are very relaxed and leisurely. While I miss being busy sometimes, I’m trying to use this time now that I have this time and know I won’t always have this time.
Second question: Where do we live? At the moment, I’m sitting in Xan and mine’s room in his grandparent’s basement in Kaysville. His grandparents are extremely generous in letting us stay here and have done everything they could think of and more to make us feel comfortable and welcome here. There is a half kitchen in the basement with a stove, microwave, sink, and refrigerator that I use to make our meals. His grandpa has a huge garden and orchard so we’ve enjoyed a lot of fresh produce, especially the peaches and tomatoes, but unfortunately, the weather is getting colder and most of the produce is disappearing. We alternate with living here and living at my parent’s house in South Jordan. While his grandparent’s are retired and are home all day, my parents both work so there are blocks of time where I can be the ‘boss of the house’. With my mom working and having a really busy church calling, I like to be there so I can help with some of the housework (mainly the dishes and the cooking) to give her some breathing room. There is also a piano so I can practice. Unfortunately and fortunately, my dad got a new tv. While it is a sweet set up and awesome picture, I was having trouble remembering how to use his last setup and this new setup looks even more intimidating. I think there were about 10-12 remotes last time I looked. I struggle to know which one is which. 🙂 Naturally, Xan and I both prefer to stay at our own family’s place (him at his grandparent’s and me at my parent’s) since it is most familiar to us so we alternate to keep the best of both worlds.
And finally, the third question: How do we survive? I have to admit that I did not adjust to this lifestyle very well in the beginning. Most little girls dream of playing house, cooking for their family, cleaning their home that they so artistically decorated, ect. I was no exception. On top of that, I’ve always been extremely independent. My mom gave up figuring me out years ago. I was super excited to get married so that I could finally have a place of my own without sharing it with roommates. Of course, there still is sharing with my husband but like most men, Xan could care less about how the house is decorated, what I cook as long as he eats his required daily calories, and who cleans as long as it is cleaned. Since being married, Xan and I have basically been living off and with other people. It is a complete turn around from the life I led for the past 5 years of independence from living with my parents. I went from coming and going as I pleased, having my own kitchen food supply of prefered brands and snacks (I’m allergic to artificial preservatives so I have to make all my food from scratch and have A LOT of prefered brands), an incredibly busy and demanding job, a full school load, and an average social life … to living either in his grandparent’s or my parent’s basement, sharing someone else’s food supply and trying to scavange through the preservative free stuff, no job, no homework, no deadlines… It really is a complete turn around and I basically went crazy. I began to develop huge anxieties over the smallest things that would stay with me for days.
Thankfully, I have a loving, and VERY patient, husband who got me through the first month and I have adjusted and overcome my anxieties. (Good thing, too. We don’t plan on leaving for another two or three weeks.) I think the biggest thing that changed were my expectations. I simply (easier said then done) stopped expecting to leave by the end of the week, stopped expecting to get my own place, stopped expecting things that I could not control, and it worked. I have realized that no matter how hard one plans and prepares for certain events, life is still unpredictable. Xan put forth so much effort to get to Iceland on time and has been preparing for the both of us to go to Iceland since January. Both of us have put in so many preparations yet we are still here. While I always knew that God has his own plan for us and life may not turn out the way we expected, I hadn’t realized until now how hard it is to ‘enjoy’ life while we find his plan for us. It is not enough to simply endure until things fall back into place, but I have to live and find things to be happy about until things fall back into place. Xan and I still don’t know what we are doing but we do know that we are where we are supposed to be for the time being. I know I say this every blog but I’ll keep saying it until it happens: Hopefully we’ll tell you what’s up soon. 🙂
Until then, only 5 people guessed where we are going to go. Indulge me! (Trust me. I get excited over the smallest things lately.) Guess if you think Xan and I will end up going to Iceland for his master’s program or if Xan and I will end up in Saudi Arabia for the temporary professor position. Leave a comment. 🙂 Go down two entries if you need to review the details of each option.