I feel like I’m living two separate lives.
In the evenings and on the weekends, I’m sightseeing around Europe, eating in lovely restaurants and enjoying more leisure time than I was used to at home. We are intentionally not spending as much of our “free” time cleaning/organizing/doing chores/running errands as we did at home — we’re trying to relax and enjoy as much of this experience as possible, so we’re giving ourselves a break on the minutiae of life in favor of getting out and experiencing Vienna. This part of my life is fabulous — exactly what you would imagine an extended European vacation to be.
But during the day, during the week, my life is pretty much exactly the same as it was at home, except harder. Dan’s hours are longer here, and I don’t have anyone to help me (my mom used to come over at least one afternoon each week so I could get a break). I also have a lot less social interaction than I’m used to. The day to day tasks are the same: diapers, meals, laundry, cleaning, doctor’s appointments, errands, just with a different location, a language I don’t speak and less support.
I feel like I’m having mood swings: relaxed euphoria on the weekends and exhausted isolation during the weeks. The weekends are amazing, and I’m getting to add experiences to our lives that we absolutely would not have had any other way. The trade off is the amount of work I have to do during the week.
I think it’s worth it. (Although there are moments, in the middle of the week, when the memories and plans of the weekends seem far away and it’s hard to remember that.) Soon, too, we’ll start taking some time off of work and travelling in Europe — and that’s pretty much all upside. The work is temporary and the memories and new perspectives will be forever. (But it’s Tuesday evening now, so I’d better keep reminding myself of that.)