Tag Archives: Introvert

Starting the move to Stavanger

The time has come that we have fewer days left in Oslo that I think I can deal with. Like, instead of months, or even weeks, I feel like we have days. Just days. Like, 9 days for sure, and a few more that might happen if we need to or want to or can manage.

NINE DAYS?

Are you kidding me?

When did this happen?

I feel NOT good about this. In fact, I feel sick about this. Yesterday, I flew with Kiddo and Hubby drove with Poodle to Stavanger, from Oslo. We are getting keys to the temporary apartment, and we have fishing rights on the river nearby early next week, and we were going to rent out our Oslo apartment through airbnb but had to cancel, so the plan is that we will be here until next Monday, which is about 10 days. Then we go back to Oslo for 9 days, and spend the next essentially 6 weeks at the summer cabin, and then a week in Italy with my parents, and then…Stavanger?

Because of all these feelings that arose when I realized how few days we have left in Oslo, I was bitter and surly to Hubby yesterday. I didn’t want to go to Stavanger, but I didn’t want to stay in Oslo alone with Kiddo and no backup (I have a health issue that I will probably write about soon that makes that scary). I knew I was upsetting him, but I couldn’t help myself. I was trying to be kind to myself, to honor the feeling, to be honest with him, but at the base of all that, I was just pissed off. 

Let´s spend just a moment on that. Why, when this has been coming for so long – I mean really since I met Hubby I knew we would probably end up in Stavanger so he could work with the family business – why do I feel so upset about this?

This is what I come up with:

  • Change is stressful.
  • Oslo is so nice this time of year.
  • My friend just had a baby and I want to see her a lot.
  • Friends in general.
  • Barbeques and beer and stuff in the park?!
  • Our apartment is amazing and we have been keeping it cleaner and I love being back in one place after so much traveling.

But Stavanger will be undeniably great on paper.

In Stavanger, I will have access to a place that is my own. In half a year I will have a house with a garden, something I have dreamed about for a long time! But I will be trading in my real city life of walking absolutely everywhere for a life where you can walk, but will probably drive. I hope we will bike more often, though.

I can make friends – this I know! But it is undeniably stressful. (Of course, it is also beautiful when you connect with someone for the first time!) It is hard, as an introvert, to put myself out there. I feel too different. I feel like a crazy person, like who could possibly jive with me?  When I moved to Oslo I fell into some amazing friendships literally within days. But I was younger then; I had lots of time. Specifically, I didn’t have a child who is age appropriately dependent on me and who I parent in a way that is respectful to that. Also, I feel like being a stay at home mom in socialist Norway makes me some sort of pariah, or at least a veritable freak.

Also, I am the kind of person who wants a handful of people that are really close. I don’t want hoards. I don’t want to befriend the entire English speaking population of Stavanger (let alone the whole Norwegian population, jeez!). I want a few great chums. I don’t look forward to the part when you weed through people whom you might get along with but might not.

Anyway, this is why I am apprehensive and irritated about the move. 

I guess it is normal? Unless you thrive on change and love meeting new people, you probably dislike moving, and even if you are those things maybe the other aspects of moving are unappealing. I think it is not a natural human thing – to move so many miles from one place to another (says the person who has done four major moves in my life already!).

I am making some deals with myself to ease the move and motivate myself to get out there:

  • Sign up for a class – anything! Guitar or painting or drawing or I don’t care, just: something. (I had Norwegian class in Oslo that put me in touch with the first and best friendships I have!)
  • Find fun places to work out – a park, a running route, something where I can get my blood flowing and maybe run into other people who are out doing the same things.
  • Connect on Facebook and social media to people with similar interests – I am already doing this with an international moms group and a group that is interested in traditional foods.
  • As much as I don’t like them, try out all the playgroups I can find.
  • Also, try out all the åpen barnehager or open daycares that I can find.
  • Find a book club.
  • Get a library card and join stuff at the library.
  • But: don’t overload myself all at once or I will just burn out and feel horrible. If I don’t feel like doing anything that day – don’t!
  • Spent lots of time with my in-laws, because they are family and can help out and know the town and love me for me.
  • Spent lots of time with Hubby, because haven’t we always said that at the very basic core, we just need each other?
  • Remember to breathe! Life is for living, not for stressing about!

Here is to trying, forgiving myself, loving everybody, and living in the moment. I will need a lot of all of that in the weeks to come!

Kiddo, the Introvert

We always said this trip was about escaping winter. It wasn’t about visiting museums or eating in fancy restaurants, although we have done each of those. It wasn’t even about learning about other cultures, or exploring the meaning of being a tourist, although I hope those will be elements of our experience. At the core, we wanted to save the feeling of summer: warm breezes, fresh produce and not forcing Kiddo into layers of clothes that she hated.

We figured our main goals were: sun, beaches, zoos/aquariums/farms, tasty but easy food, and weeks upon weeks of enjoying each other´s company.

What we forgot to factor in is that our little girl does not want to do these kinds activities constantly, even if she is generally a fan. We enjoyed days of beach time, and were worried she would hate it when we had to travel, or when we decided to spend the day on a car trip. But she was happy with the change of scenery. Even though she doesn’t love sitting in the car, she is more and more able to do so. Sure, sometimes it is while watching videos on the iPad, but other times she is content to just lookout of the window, or listening to music, or chatting with me in all iterations of her new favorite phrases. In fact, sitting in the car for a while after not doing it recently can be a nice change of scene in itself.

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21st Century car trip Kiddo

At zoos, she is usually taken with one animal the most, and could care less about some of them. But we are usually into at least trying to get a glimpse at everything, so we take her dutifully to each exhibit. She gives a little in that respect, and we give a little by spending 30 minutes in front of the Hyacinth Macaw exhibit. The result? We all get a nice afternoon at the zoo.

Additionally, we can´t spend everyday doing something. Kiddo is like me. She is an introvert. Needs time by herself (or with me, which at this point I think she considers alone time) to recharge. Needs mornings, afternoons, or whole days lolling about at home, watching Mickey Mouse, playing with soft dough, coloring, dancing to music, making food, etc. She doesn’t need an activity all of the time. So we need to build that into our travel plans. If we stay at a place that is also a farm, or is on the beach, or something, then hanging out on the beach or visiting animals isn’t really an activity because there isn’t the production of packing a bag, getting in a car, finding our way, parking, getting out, finding the thing we set out for, and only THEN doing that activity.

Writing that made me realize that maybe she is a bit like me in a similar way, in that, I usually have fun once I have gone out, but often I don’t feel like doing anything but staying in and amusing myself with one of my hobbies.

That means that another consideration for this trip is building in enough down time for Kiddo. It is actually a relief that we don’t have to plan days upon days upon days of kid friendly, amazing, unforgettable experiences. We can mix it up and have some adventure days, some animal days, some beach days, and lots of other days just hanging out having whatever kind of fun we feel like.