We get different holidays here. No Thanksgiving. No Martin Luther King Day. No Presidents’ Day or Columbus Day (although I don’t think I’ve ever actually gotten either of those last two off of work). No Fourth of July. But, of course, we get other holidays — St. Stephen’s Day (the patron saint of Vienna, also, conveniently, the day after Christmas), Austria Day (similar to America’s July 4th), a smorgasbord of religious holidays (Good Friday, Easter Monday and Whit Monday for the Christians, a few of the Eid holidays for the Muslims) and May Day/Worker’s Day/Labor Day.
It’s a little weird “celebrating” a socialist holiday, coming from a country where the term socialism is so vilified (though we Americans have our own Labor Day in September, we just don’t think of it in the same way). Regardless, I’m not going to complain about a day off in the most beautiful time of year here. We intended to spend the day outdoors, enjoying May in Vienna. We gave Liam the option of choosing our activity for the day (since B got to choose on Sunday) and he chose, surprisingly, to stay home.
So we did. Per his request, we watched a movie (with popcorn), we played video games, we played hide & seek, we raced trucks all over the house, we watched tv and we had macaroni & cheese for dinner. It was lots of fun and very restorative. We had a great day.
I’m also using May Day as an ironic, if unintentional, opportunity to change some things about my blogging habits. We have been here more than two years — beyond our initially intended stay. With very few exceptions, I have blogged nearly every day that we’ve been here. I was determined to be religious about it to avoid only writing on the days that I felt most inspired to write — usually the best days. I wanted my chronicle of our travels and adventures to be honest, and I felt that for it to be truly honest, I had to require myself to write, every day, regardless of how much I wanted to or how easily the words came. And I think I’ve done that — I think I’ve accurately captured the thrills, the failures, the struggles, the homesickness, the occasional boredom and the personal discoveries that this journey has brought about.
And so, I think I’ve kept my promise to myself. I promised myself 2 years of daily records, and I’ve done that.
I’m not going to stop writing. I love recording the myriad details of this adventure. I love that these little nuances will be memorialized for the future, for myself, for the boys. I love that I’ve been able to be a help to others taking on this immense challenge by giving them a window into the reality of this process. I will continue to write, to record, to capture, to share.
But maybe not every day. So yesterday, I marked Workers’ Day by not writing. My blog was silent for the first time since my intentional Christmas holiday. It’s a liberty I’m going to allow myself more and more going forward. I hope to keep the honesty just as vivid, but allow myself more space to breathe, to rest, and to enjoy our last year here.