Monday, March 5, 2012

Re-adjusting our concept of time

Having just started this blog...I found myself today with many different ideas running through my head of what I could have our first 4 months been?  What has been easy or hard to get use to?...There are many differences here but my focus on this post with be time and planning.

One of the biggest differences that we have found moving here is that stores are not open 24/7 like they are in the States...there is no 24 hour Walmart or all night pharmacy.  Not that we often ran out late but there were always those few occasions where we needed something at 10 pm or that early morning run to Price Chopper before the kids got up.  Even tonight, as we realized we needed some Draino, my husband at 8 pm looked at the clock and said, the stores are closed aren't they?

Here in France, all stores are generally open from 9 am to 7 pm.  In addition, some store still close during the lunchtime hours 12-2 pm.  Most stores are also NOT open on Sundays or even Mondays, sometimes.  Some bigger grocery stores are open Sunday mornings from 9 am to noon. but not all  Basically this has meant more planning on my part...and a true shift and acceptance that things are no longer available 24/7.

I also have realized how much I had accepted the fact that I could always go out and pick up something last minute...a certain level of procrastination could happen, as I truly didn't have to worry about dinner until a couple of hours before it happened.  I often tried to plan, but if I didn't feel like it in the moment, I could always wait.  Here, I find myself with a certain amount of stress around this concept.  Sundays are the trickiest for me as I can't just run out after lunch and pick up ingredients for dinner.  I need to know ahead, plan ahead and shop ahead.  I am still getting use to this.

However, after I say all of that...I also need to add that Sunday afternoons for us (and for a lot of other French families) has become a time to be together as a family.  Time to ride bikes, take a walk or go stroll through the local park or even go into the city to just take in the river and the ambiance.  Sundays have become special time to be together and not be running around.  Just last Sunday, we choose to go to the Site du Bourgailh, a park in our town - it was great enjoying the outdoors, climbing the lookout towers and even meeting new people.  Enjoy the photos below.

So maybe the trade off isn't so bad...we are forced to plan ahead and work around store hours  - but in return, we have to slow down..not always be running around - we get time to reflect....time to be together...time to enjoy nature.

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