An unexpected free day


Lately I have started nannying for a few hours a week with a lovely family who have a 3 month old.  We made up the schedule of Mondays and Wednesday but all of us are clearly doing this for the first time and figuring it all out.  So far this is a good way to feel as though I am contributing in some way although it is pretty humbling.  During the time that I am with baby and mom, we chat about where my passion lies in my career and why that can’t happen here right now and just about life in general.

Today I was scheduled to nanny but last night it switched to Friday and because I had other plans in that neighborhood after, those plans switched too. So last night I found myself looking a free unexpected day for today.

I announced to Ana, “well, now I have a free day!” She replied, “Lucky you!” Which is true lucky me and yet I was disappointed that my day opened up.  In a previous life, I would have been over the moon that everything changed before me to open up a free whole day but in this life it is starting to be the thing that lies before me just waiting for me to fill it.  It isn’t a bad thing.  I started to look up things online to do today. I quickly made a decision that because I have been all over the city I would not leave the hood today. Within walking distance day! On top of that I decided I didn’t want to spend money on attractions or doing whatever the thing may be….free galleries, free museums, coffee with friends, wandering and walking with dogs….yes please!  The museum that costs 12 Euros? Not on my free Wednesday!

I, in my ennegram seveness, made a list of the many possibilities of today…after much time making  a list and reading more and more lists of things to do…I looked up to Ana and said, “And officially I am overwhelmed by my free day.”

This morning, after a fitful night of sleep, the free day stretched out and that loooonnng list I had made didn’t seem as relevant.  No one is making me do the list.  I can live into the day moment by moment. If I compare the day to the list of things that could fill it, I am only truly disappointing myself if I don’t complete it….see my constant internal dilemma?  So I walked the pups, made coffee and spent some time sending a friend a message, studying my German vocab and meditated a bit.  I made banana muffins because that seemed right and good and then got a text from a friend to arrange lunch with me in my hood. Doable.  Free day!  I am now finding myself writing my blog and still seeing the day out before me but with a list that is causing me less angst and more possibility and less expectation of myself.

This life of an American in Europe is full of feeling the pressure of not producing and having that be ok.  For me it is a constant balance of life goodness and feelings of worth.  Its a constant tight rope balance between feeling as though this is putting values into practice of how life should and can be vs feeling unanchored.

Just thought it might be helpful. 🙂

Oh and another friend just texted about coffee…this day is shaping up to be more about people and that’s how I prefer my free days. 🙂



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