1 Year in Lists

We made it to and just past our one year mark of living here. Wow. I took some time to go back and read what I wrote on the blog when we were first here, and I’m happy to report that life is much smoother now and we’ve learned so very much in the past year. I sort of feel badly for my past self and how overwhelmed I was! However, going through some of that was a necessary evil in order to get us to where we are now. Anyway, we took some time to sit down and list a few things we’ve learned over the past year.
IMG_8109Get ready for a monster post. I see this as a good thing though – it means we’ve learned and grown and that living here has been worth all the initial stress.

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Realistic Shantal

Sometimes when I go on a walk and leave behind mittens or something that should have been so obviously necessary Derek will get a text from “Realistic Shantal.” These texts typically look something like this:

Dear Shantal,
I know you think March means Spring and therefore warmer temperatures, but you live in Chicago. It’s still below freezing. Wear socks and gloves.
Realistic Shantal20130228_133751

[Photo taken from the top of the Aon Center]

Realistic Shantal doesn’t often help me out when I’m still in the apartment when it comes to things like wearing my heavy coat. However, I’m hoping she’ll rear her know-it-all-ish head when it comes to this move. I need her whispering in my ear things like, you never wear that shirt, get rid of it, or that apartment will be in a questionable neighborhood, don’t rent it. For once, I think she’s already appeared when it comes to me considering keeping a journal of this big ol’ adventure. I won’t. [Unrealistic] Shantal may buy a new journal with the intention of writing in it every day, or at least every week, and have a separate one for L that she plans on writing in every time L does something new. But I know that won’t happen. I’ll get behind and overwhelmed with how much I’d like to write about the previous month(s), but it will seem like too much and I won’t write anything.  So that’s why I decided to keep a blog. Maybe it’ll help me become a better writer. Ha. Or maybe the fact that other people can see how often I post will help me post more often. Enh, possible.  Or maybe this will be just as much as a failure as a traditional journal, but with a cooler, less personal, more tech-savvy format.

Recently after a discussion about our future and how to make our lives a little happier and brighter I realized we needed to summarize and wrap-up the conversation with a take-away list of goals. My way of segue-ing into the wrap-up was, “Okay, time for some Realistic Shantal.” To which Derek responded, “Awesome, I love Realistic Shantal.” I love Realistic Shantal too. Sometimes.

Dear Realistic Shantal
I need you around the next few months, okay? Like in-my-head and around-the-corner around, not I-already-made-a-poor-choice-and-now-have-to-live-with-the-concequences around.
Thanks for your help,

With that, Realistic Shantal just pointed out it is time to move on to accomplishing real things on my ever-growing, pre-moving to-do list…