The Grass Is Always Greener (except for when it’s not*)

I’m sure most of us are familiar with the old adage “the grass is always greener on the other side”… Which means, everything else seems better than whatever your situation is (an issue of perspective).  While I try not to be that person and seek to embrace the here and now, I’m constantly finding myself looking over that fence and wishing for something different.

But then when I get it, I want something else (or even worse, what I had before).

It is never immediate, though.  It usually takes me at least 2 months (maximum 6) to get bored of my current situation.  This isn’t a new trend for me either, I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember.  Whether it is about work or school or how my room is arranged, I get BORED.

For example…

When pursuing my undergrad in Clemson, SC… I moved every year.  As soon as my lease was up,  I’d pick up everything and move to another apartment. To my defense, there was always something off about the apartment I was in (too small, bug problems, graduated and time to go, etc) but it doesn’t change the fact that it was a trend.  In Florida we only moved once (from a small apartment to a bigger one when I joined my hubby at UF),  but after a year we moved everything in the house because we were BORED OF IT.  We always need a change.

When I first moved to Florida I had a whole summer with no job, and no class.  No real point in taking a job when I would be working for the University in a few months,  you know? Don’t want to deal with another W2… But anyway,  I had been looking forward to a whole summer of nothing but beach trips and laying around.  In case you forgot,  I pulled double duty in Clemson (school full time plus a part time job after classes and on weekends).  I had been dieing for a little personal time.  I’m sure you can guess what happened… I was climbing the walls in 2 months. 

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When I started my graduate program, I was thrilled!  I would find any excuse to be hard at work in the lab, assisting in everyone else’s projects.  Even when mine started,  I planned everything to a T,  enjoying the details and relishing the time spent working hard.  But it only took a week of driving 3 hours every day, digging in the dirt for an hour plus, then busting my hump for hours in the lab for me to regret my decision (spoiler alert: it was all worth it in the end!).  That was about 6 months into my program.

While in Florida I developed an affinity for kitchen projects (homemade bread, yogurt, pasta, cheese, etc), and was always looking for extra time to start one.  As my graduation and our upcoming move to Turkey approached, I wistfully thought of all the time I could spend as a housewife on such projects- including sewing, working on my art, writing,  etc.  Plus the excitement of moving to a new country, learning a new language, and adjusting to a new way of life would surely keep me busy (and entertained!).

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Of course, for a while, it did.  It took about 4 months for me to learn how to do things on my own.  Towards the end of that learning period I was frustrated and sick to death of being monitored every minute.  I missed being able to do things on my own!  Grocery trips, laundry,  even cooking required the watchful eye of my mother in law… And some things still do.  How I craved my independence again (a side effect of moving to a country where you don’t speak the language well)!

But now that I can do things on my own for the most part,  people expect me to.  And now I’m annoyed about that too!  I don’t want to do five people’s laundry by myself.  I don’t want to cook everyone’s meal.  My arms are tired from kneading enough dough to feed a family with lavaş.  I’m biting my tongue and kicking myself for wanting my independence and looking back at when we first moved and nothing was expected of me. Why did I want more responsibility?

OH yeah, and art projects/ learning Turkish? Bored of that too.  As you can see by my lack of comics lately… I just don’t feel it right now. Or as they say in Turkey,

canım istemiyor

.

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And as of January I became bored with the housewife life and started looking for a job.  My dream of endless hours of projects and hobbies turned into a nightmare!  I crave the social aspects of a job, of having a reason to get up and get dressed in the morning, of having a goal every day that is assigned to me.  Sure, that goal could be to clean the house- but I’m bored of that.  I want something else!  Hell, I even miss UF and all the work I did there as a teaching and research assistant. I’m sure I’ll be happy with a job for a while… And as long as the job keeps giving me new things to do I will probably be entertained for a while.

But it is a certainty that I will again grow BORED of what I’m doing.  As soon as I make something a routine, I don’t like it anymore. What’s wrong with me?  This can’t be normal.  I always wonder how my husband can entertain himself for days on end by studying the same things, watching the same lectures, and writing the same notes.  I mean,  they are probably different but it’s the same to me!

My next goal is to be able to move out and get my independence back (İnşallah).  We had become so used to it being just us that it is a huge burden living with three other people (family or not!).  I’m sure I’ll miss the crowded house after we leave it.  Or maybe not? Maybe that’s one thing I won’t get bored of!

I think the key is balance…which I had at UF (some work, some school, some off time, some friends/social outings), but I was still bored. It could very well be that the life of a student (I. E. Being poor and pinching pennies) was what I was bored of. No TV, no dinner table, no nice vacations (well we did have a few we made out of a necessary trip)… But I don’t know. I have a curious spirit I guess. It’s always looking for something new.

My bucket list

A post by feisty harriet popped up on my reader a week or so ago, where she listed her own bucket list.  While most of my experiences with bucket lists are movie related- I never thought to make one for myself.  I am always saying “I want to do this”…but then I never write it down, and many dreams and goals are forgotten.

As I wrap up the end of my graduate school journey and look forward to starting a new chapter of my life in Turkey (or maybe it’s more like a new book?), I know that I will have a lot of free time.  Even more, I have spent a quarter of a century on this planet, 25 years have come and gone in the blink of an eye…it is about time I buckle down and iron out  what I want to do with the time I have left.  Who knows how long that may be…no one is promised tomorrow!

So without further ado,  here is a list of 30 things that I would consider to be part of my bucket list…in no particular order.:

  1. Master the Turkish language

  2. Learn to ride a bike

  3. Go snorkeling

  4. Catch, clean, and cook a fish (the same fish!)

  5. Go sailing

  6. Go camping

  7. Learn Arabic

  8. Read the whole Quran in Arabic, cover to cover

  9. Have a child

  10. Raise them well

  11. Paint a mural

  12. Have a Turkish wedding

  13. Take a train across Europe

  14. Go on Hajj

  15. Drink Zam Zam water

  16. Visit Capadoccia, Antalya, and Pamukkale, Turkey

  17. Own a house

  18. Find a private beach and spend the day there

  19. Make a cultured cheese (as in bacteria, not sophistication haha)

  20. Plant a fruit tree and harvest it

  21. Milk a cow

  22. Learn the Zeybek dance and do it with my husband

  23. Be married 50 years

  24. Stop cursing- full stop

  25. Knit a blanket

  26. Visit California

  27. Visit the Bahamas or Jamaica

  28. Go on a cruise

  29. Butcher a cow

  30. Feed a hungry person

What’s on your bucket list?  Do you think it is important to make your goals very realistic- or do you like to have grandiose dreams?

Actually, I think I may make this a page for my blog and cross them out as I complete them…what do you think? 🙂