The passing of our six month milestone here, along with the rapid onset of cooler temperatures and earlier sunsets have really kicked me into gear in terms of getting out and doing the things we want to do around Vienna. The days are short (and getting shorter), cold (and getting colder) and numbered, so we must get out and see what there is to see.
With Benjamin in school until noon every day, we don’t get home until around 1:00. Then it’s time for lunch, then a nap. By the time they’re up and about, it’s typically 3:30 at the earliest. Even this leaves us a few hours until Dan’s return home and the beginning of the dinner/evening/bedtime routine around here, so I’m going to be making a point to use those precious hours, as well. But, for longer excursions, it’s got to be the weekends, and we’re going to make the most of them.
This weekend, we definitely worked toward that end. Our Saturday morning was spent in our usual manner of going to the grocery store, vacuuming, folding laundry and doing other small chores around the house. But, after nap time on Saturday, we were done with chores and tasks. We set out to do some hiking/walking around (to me, the difference is whether or not the surface is paved, and we did a little of each) and to have dinner up on the side of the mountain overlooking Vienna. It was chilly when we left home (about 10 degrees Celsius) and it started getting dark (and colder) almost immediately after we started our walk. We had an excellent time. We saw some beautiful sights, explored (may have trespassed at) a gorgeous hotel overlooking the city, and had an amazing dinner by candlelight.
Today, we left, first thing, for the zoo. The plan had been to get out of the house as early as possible (we left around 9:30, which is pretty good) and to be back for nap time (around 1:00/1:30). In a shocking (for me) display of flexibility and enjoying the moment, we didn’t get home until after 4:30. Benjamin made a list, last night, of the animals he wanted to see. We saw them all (he liked the flamingos the best). We rode the train (twice). We walked from the back exit of the zoo to the Gloriette of Schonbrunn and looked down on Vienna (Liam walked a significant part of the way, holding Dan’s hand — he did NOT want to ride in the stroller or be carried). We had an impromptu lunch in the sun on a bench, the boys threw several fits (each) and we all came home worn out, a bit out of sorts and completely off of our normal schedule.
It’s not easy for me. I make a list of the chores and tasks to be done around the house every weekend, and it drives me a little crazy if they don’t get done. I have to let go of that if I want to make the most of our weekend in terms of exploring. This weekend, we left more than half of our to-do list undone (much of it not even begun). I’m also making a serious effort to live more in the moment — to enjoy what’s happening around me instead of thinking about what needs to happen next (and when) or obsessing about what’s still to be done at home. I don’t feel the need to cram every moment full of “experiences” (staying home and cuddling on the couch is an experience, too) but I do want to prioritize having fun over having a clean house, being together and enjoying ourselves over feeling accomplished at checking “something” off of our to do list.
We don’t have an infinite amount of time here. I want to make the most of the time we have. I don’t want to leave here with any regrets about things I wanted to see, or do, or experience with the boys. Realizing this about my time in Vienna makes me realize how true this is of life in general.
The vacuuming can wait. The flamingos can’t.